Three More Co-Founders Of Housing Quit

After co-founder Advitiya Sharma left Housing last month, now three other co-founders Abhishek Anand, Ravish Naresh and Sanat Ghosh have quit the Softbank backed company to start their own venture.

“Housing.com was our dream, and we are glad to see that the current Housing.com leadership team is strong, with very accomplished executives working alongside a young innovative team. We are confident that the positive momentum and high-growth at Housing.com will continue as we move on to our next dream, a new venture,” three co-founders said in a statement to Livemint.

Ten months earlier, Housing’s board had fired Rahul Yadav. And since then, five co-founders have quit the company.

“Abhishek, Ravish and Sanat played an important role in building the foundation of Housing.com. They are moving out to pursue their new dream of starting another new venture. I sincerely thank them for their contributions and wish them the very best. I am sure what they undertake next will be as exciting as Housing,” said CEO Jason Kothari in an email to Livemint.

The company had raised $90 million in 2014 led by SoftBank in the last round and is now focusing on acquisitions to accelerate growth.

Former Business Head Of 99Acres Vineet Singh Invests In Housing

Housing has received an undisclosed amount from Vineet Singh, former business head of 99Acres.

As part of Info Edge’s executive leadership team for a decade, Vineet built 99Acres and Naukri and he will now closely work with the Housing management team in a senior advisory role.

Vineet

Prior to joining Info Edge, Vineet worked with Xerox and Thomas Cook and is an expert in the areas of strategic planning, large scale execution, and sales & operations management. Currently, Vineet is co-founder, CEO & MD of Buildczar, a marketplace for building materials and finishing products.

Jason Kothari, Chief Executive Officer, Housing, said, “Vineet brings with him enriching experience, deep understanding of the ecosystem, and a decade of high-achieving sales leadership in the online real estate space. On board as a personal investor, Vineet will also serve as a senior advisor to the company working closely with the management team.  We believe that his association will further fuel the ambitious growth plans of Housing.com.”

“Housing.com has been a disrupter who has redefined the way consumers buy and sell homes in the marketplace. With a great product and a strong management team, I am a proud investor in Housing.com and look forward to further this dynamic company on its path to becoming the largest and most trusted player in the online real estate space,” said Vineet Singh, Senior Advisor, Housing.com.

“I am a wounded soldier but, ready to march on and take more”- Housing’s Advitiya Sharma

Once working 18 hours a day, Advitiya Sharma, one of the core founding members of Housing.com on Wednesday announced his resignation from Housing and plans to be back to the startup world in next 10 days.

Real Reason For The Resignation

Advitiya believes that the whole startup ecosystem has drifted away from the fundamentals of building a product.

“There was a lot of momentum in last one year. It was becoming a cool thing to be a founder however, startup should be more than that. It should be focusing on fundamental problems,” said Advitiya.

“Last 6-9 months had been very tough for all of us. From 2700 we came down to 1300 employees. Starting from our vision, we had to restructure everything again. But, now we have regained our stability and it was just the right time.”

Elucidating his resignation, he said, “I woke up on the day of “Mahashivratri” and decided to speak to Jason about my resignation from the company. It was a very spontaneous decision.”

But, Advitiya surely has great confidence for the current management system in Housing which is being led by CEO Jason Kothari. He asserted that his team had built a great product and believes that his management will only strengthen it further.

Co-Founders

There were a total of 12 founders during the start of Housing, five of them had left before him and now six are remaining. His relationship with other co-founders goes long way back before the start of company.

“Well, everybody was shocked at first. But, I had been explaining this to them for quite some time and gradually they understood and supported my decision.”

What Next?

“I am an entrepreneur at heart and am hungry on working more for my next venture.”

Advitiya plans to spend some time with his grandmother and rest of his family before attending Vipassana and see what more does this universe has to offer him.

” I am a wounded soldier but, ready to march on and take more.”

He believes in addressing fundamental problems of society and so essentially plans to build a product around  finance, education and clean technology as he believes these are the fundamental problems this society needs to look into and none of the startups have managed to achieve any major success in this.

[By Prabhakaran and Sanghamitra]

Housing’s Co-Founder Advitiya Sharma Quits

After Rahul Yadav, Housing.com co-founder Advitiya Sharma has quit the company to pursue a new business.

In his farewell email to employees, he wrote, “The toughest phase in our history were the last 9 months. Nothing haunts a team more than a threat to the survival of what they stand for.”

Advitiya Sharma Of Housing.com
Advitiya Sharma Of Housing.com

Out of the nine founders of the company, five have quit. Three others include Abhishek Anand (CTO); Snehil Buxy  (Chief Product Officer); and Amrit Raj (Digital Marketing Head).

“Advitiya has played an invaluable role in the birth of Housing.  It’s always hard to say bye to a friend and colleague, but we’re excited about what he will create next.

The Company is successfully executing its plan to become the most trusted, transparent and efficient place for buying and selling homes in the country, and Advitiya can be rest assured that Housing is in good hands.”- Jason Kothari, CEO, Housing.

 

Housing Adds A New Feature ‘Routing’ To Make It Easy For Home Seekers In A New City

Housing has launched a new feature ‘Routing’ which allows the consumers to search for a home based on commute time or on-road distance from any specific establishment like a school, workplace, hospital, railway station etc.

Targeted for buy and sell category, this feature is currently live on the website and available for home seekers in Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Kolkata and Delhi-NCR.

Housing has introduced ‘Routing’ with a special focus towards home seekers who are new to a city and might be unaware of the geographies and demographics in different localities.

housing routing

Its time algorithm quality assumes average traffic during post office evening hours where mode of commute is by road.
Post the soft launch a week ago the website has witnessed almost 40% surge in engagement (properties viewed per user) and 60% increase in conversions for buy in establishment searches. Housing currently receives approx. 2 lac unique visitors on monthly basis, claims the company.

housing routing 2

When consumers are searching for a property through landmark input, they could specify the commute time from that landmark. Post this, the website will show a list of those properties that are within the requested time limit. Additionally, the consumers could also specify their preferred distance from the landmark and the website will then showcase only those properties which are listed within the specified parameters.

Real Estate Platform, Housing Raises Rs 100 Crore From SoftBank

Company Name : Housing
Funding Amount : Rs 100 crore
Investor(s) SoftBank
Funding Round : Not Disclosed


Housing has secured Rs 100 crore from Softbank. The new funds will help the company to drive its new strategy and growth plans.

Jason Kothari, Chief Executive Officer, Housing said, “Softbank is one of the world’s largest and most successful investors.  Their continued support as both investors and advisors to Housing.com is invaluable to us and signifies their long-term commitment to the Company.  We are now well-capitalized to aggressively execute on our focused strategy and growth plans and believe 2016 will be a great year for the Company.”

The company has established a focused strategy on buying and selling homes and is building scalable revenue streams, demand and supply, and is also going deeper in the value chain towards facilitating and fulfilling transactions.

In addition, Housing acquired the online community for real estate India Real Estate Forum, a CRM for developers HomeBuy360, and a data analytics firm Realty Business Intelligence.

Over the last few months, Housing has been expanding its senior management team to include highly seasoned executives. The startup claims that it is now working with over 40,000 developers and agents.

The company had earlier dissolved its operations committee to keep a track on the performance and also announced that it appointed its co-founder Snehil Buxy as its new Chief Product Officer.

Also Read: Housing Recorded Revenue Of Rs 12 Crores; Loss At 22X, 279 Crores [FY14-15]

#IndianStartupData : Housing Recorded Revenue Of Rs 12 Crores; Loss At 22X, 279 Crores [FY14-15]

[Editor Notes : Nothing is as powerful as data and these articles are part of our coverage of #IndianStartupData – i.e. an overview of financial performance of selected Indian startups with a belief that it gives the audience a good picture of the companies and the ecosystem in general.]

Housing had a terrific 2015 – the company was in news for its founder/CEO, Rahul Yadav and importantly, the Lookup campaign, which was splashed all over the web and offline world.

Housing.com recorded a revenue of INR 12.7 crores in FY14-15, out of which INR 5.5 crores was revenue from operations.

Housing loss went up by 5.7X, thanks to the aggressive Lookup campaign (Housing spent close to 120 crores in advertising and promotions).

Housing Revenue
Housing Revenue

Competitor, Commonfloor in the same FY14-15 recorded a revenue of Rs. 45 crores.

housing-lookup-logo

Housing shareholding structure.

In total, Housing has raised $139.5M in 4 rounds of funding.

Since we are talking about FY14-15, the context has changed a lot after Rahul Yadav was fired. Till the financial year, he owned 5% of the company. Softbank being the majority owner (33%), Nexus @19%, Helion @9%, Qualcomm at 5% and other founders at 7.5%.

These numbers must have changed after Rahul Yadav was fired and new executive team was brought in. But the key thing that startup founders and investors should note is this:

If founding team owns ONLY 12.5% of the company (after Series B), what’s the incentive left for them to make it big/continue?

Plus, how will you make space for more senior hires?

Who calls the shots? The investor who owns ~3X of the company?

Housing’s Focus On Revenue

Housing, till FY14-15 wasn’t really focused on revenue (watch our interview with Rahul Yadav) and the revenue focus has kicked in only 3 months back.

The company has brought in Jason Kothari as the CEO, who is focusing more on revenue side of things and has also culled a few areas which weren’t core to Housing (followed by layoffs).

Competitor Commonfloor has been acquired by Quikr.

Watch our interview with Rahul Yadav when he was the CEO of Housing.