• Juwai.com is heading for an IPO within the next 12 months.
  • It is also seeking to raise a rumored $15 million in the lead up to going public.
  • The Chinese-based property portal wants to use its increased funds to hire more talent from around the world.

Executive hires can be a good indication that something is brewing at a company. When the international property portal for Chinese investors, juwai.com, hired Macquarie banker Charles Pittar as its CEO back in January, it was a sign that the company was considering some kind of fundraising exercise.

The speculation recently solidified into reality when Pittar confirmed that he is planning to list the company on the Australian Stock Exchange within 12 months.

He is said to be seeking to raise around $15 million in funds from institutional investors and strategic partners before selling shares in a public offering later in the year or early in 2017.

Pittar told Bloomberg, “The listing is important for our growth.”

The company plans to use the funds raised to hire talent around the world to boost its presence, said the Australian CEO.

Juwai co-founders Simon Henry and Andrew Taylor stepped down from their co-CEO roles in January, but continue to be engaged in the business. Pittar arrived at the company in 2015 as COO and was then appointed CEO at the beginning of the year. He was formerly Asia COO for Macquarie Bank.

What’s Juwai doing on this side of the globe?

Juwai has recently built up its team in North America, where Chinese investors are the biggest international investors, spending $28.6 billion last year.

In March, it appointed former Move, Inc. executive vice president Matthew Moore as its first president of the Americas; his objective is to run the North American sales, marketing and industry relations teams.

Moore is also creating strategic partnerships with national brands, regional and local brokers, developers, new home builders and MLSs and associations. Juwai currently has partnerships with organizations representing more than 10,000 real estate agents in the U.S.

Los Angeles is the single most-searched city in North America by Chinese property buyers, California the most-searched state, and the U.S. is the most-searched country in the world, said Pittar in March.

How Juwai stacks up at home in China

Juwai, based in Hong Kong and Shanghai, has 2.6 million Chinese visitors per month and will be announcing a partnership with a Japanese partner soon.

The average budget of Chinese consumers on Juwai is $2.6 million; the average property purchase, $934,000. Meanwhile on Baidu, China’s dominant search engine, juwai.com ranks higher than Zillow, realtor.com and Trulia.

In recent research, the portal found that 37 percent of Chinese buyers on Juwai browse the website, then call the Juwai Chinese consumer support center for a translation of their inquiry in English; then the Chinese buyer and their inquiry are sent to the real estate agent or broker.

Email Gill South

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