Beijing-based startup Julive.com, known as Juli Zhaofangwang in China, has raised RMB 400 million (USD 61.5 million) in its Series C+ round led by Tencent and Oceanpine Capital, the company announced on its official WeChat account on Thursday.
Founded in 2014, the site provides basic information, such as names, locations, and base prices of new properties. After calling a telephone hotline, prospective buyers are being directed to a consultant for an on-spot visit and signing with the developer, who pays the firm for its marketing services. Julive is now present in 37 cities, including Shanghai, Chongqing, Guangzhou, and Wuhan, where it has helped 3 million families find their homes.
Competitors in the space include Beike, which is also known as Ke Holdings and runs China’s largest portal, as well as startups like Zhuge.com, offering both used and new real estate.
Zhuge’s founder and chairman Su Weijie told KrASIA in October that there’s still room for new entrants and consolidation in the sector. The real estate industry has turned from being a seller’s market to a buyer’s market and as a result developers increasingly leverage brokers to move their properties.
Beike, which counts Tencent among its shareholders, disclosed in November that the gross transaction value for new homes reached RMB 420.7 billion (USD 62.0 billion) in the third quarter of 2020, an increase of 105.7% year-over-year.
Julive said in the WeChat post that in December alone, it helped sell properties worth RMB 5 billion. “Julive is doing pretty well and its monthly revenue has already surpassed RMB 100 million (USD 15.5 million),” an industry insider told KrASIA.
The startup tries to differentiate itself by only advertising new homes and through a professional, skilled consultant team with at least a bachelor’s degree. Property dealers are generally not educated to that level and tend to rely on their sales talent as well as the information gap between buyers and sellers. Julive aims to keep improving to offer efficient and standardized services, claiming that customer satisfaction rates are very high.
The company further points out that it entirely digitized its online transaction system amid the COVID-19 pandemic and that a total of 2,000 individuals already bought their homes remotely during a recent promotion called Er’er’er Tiaofang Festival.