Beijing–based Danke which is taking urban housing to a new level announced on Friday that it has raised nearly $500 million as it closed the C round of funding led Tiger Global Management and Ant Financial, Alibaba’s e-payment and financial affiliate, according to a report by TechCrunch.
It all started four years ago when Danke set out on its mission to provide more affordable housing for the young Chinese workforce working in large urban centers. It’s more like bringing the coworking space to the housing arena. The idea behind this innovative concept is to slice a flat designed for a family of three to four into smaller units. Young professionals can afford to live in nice neighborhoods as Danke is there to take care of hassles like housekeeping and maintenance.
As of now, the startup has expanded its base to 10 major cities in China. The company is planning to use the funds to upgrade its data processing system that deals with rental transactions.
Speaking to TechCrunch, Danke’s angel investor and chairman Derek Shen said, “We are focused on business intelligence from day one. By doing so we are eliminating the need to set up offline retail outlets and are able to speed up the decision-making process. What landlords normally care is who will be the first to rent out their property.”
The rest of the proceeds will go towards improving the quality of Danke’s apartment amenities and tenant experiences. The money will also enable Danke, which currently zeroes in on office workers and recent college graduates, to explore the emerging housing market for blue-collar workers.
China’s rental housing market has boomed in recent years as Beijing pledges to promote affordable apartments in a country where few have the money to buy property.
Speaking about rental loans, Shen said that his company is actively working to increase transparency. “We will make it clear to customers that what they are signing are loans. As long as we give them enough notice, there should be little risk involved.”