(Bloomberg) -- 58 Home, owned by China’s Craigslist equivalent 58.com Inc., is close to completing a private fundraising en route to a U.S. initial public offering that could value the online services platform at as much as $2 billion, people familiar with the matter said.
The business, known locally as 58 Daojia, is seeking funds to bankroll an expansion into China’s competitive online services arena. It’s now wrapping up a pre-IPO financing round at a valuation of more than $1 billion, the people said, requesting not to be named because the matter is private. Once that’s done, 58 Home intends to prepare for a U.S. debut in which it will seek a valuation of between $1.5 billion and $2 billion, one of the people said.
Deliberations are at an early stage and details of the potential offering could still change, the people said. Liu Cong, a spokesman for 58.com, declined to comment, while a representative for 58 Home also had no comment. 58.com’s shares rose 2% in New York.
58 Home is one of China’s leaders in helping people connect online with services from flower delivery to home-cleaning. Backed by Tencent Holdings Ltd., it’s vying for market share however against deeper-pocketed rivals such as Meituan Dianping and certain businesses operated by e-commerce leader Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. All are eyeing a slice of a market for physical, on-demand services still largely undisrupted by online technology.
58.com’s unit raised its last private funding round in 2015, garnering $300 million from investors including Alibaba, KKR and Ping An Group. Parent 58.com holds 68.8% of the company’s equity interest but doesn’t consolidate the unit’s financials in its own results, according to its annual filing.
(Updates with shares in third paragraph)
--With assistance from Julia Fioretti and Manuel Baigorri.
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