Housing ex-CEO Rahul Yadav questions merger
While Housing.com's former CEO and cofounder Rahul Yadav questions the usefulness of the company‘s merger with PropTiger. Current CEOs of Housing and PropTiger emphasised merger synergies to Moneycontrol in an interview.
Rahul Yadav, the beleaguered former CEO and co-founder of Housing.com which was acquired in an all-stock deal by PropTiger this week, thinks that the deal marks the end of the Housing brand and the dream that started in 2012.
Housing was started by 12 students of IIT Bombay in 2012. Of them only two — Snehil Buxy and Neeraj Bhunwal — still remain with the company. In a statement to Quartz, Yadav said that Housing.com will soon shut down post the merger.
“Traffic has already eroded and, soon, brand Housing.com will die. We never even considered PropTiger among our competitors. I don’t understand how the merger will be useful to Housing.com,” he told Quartz.
However, current CEOs of PropTiger and Housing told Moneycontrol that the brands will co-exist for now and later merged into a single legal entity which is yet to be formed.
“We will continue to use all the three brands. PropTiger will be used for transaction services, Makaan for marketplace brand to provide agent services and Housing as the demand and supply aggregator. The three will come under a single legal entity,” Dhruv Agarwala, CEO of PropTiger and Jason Kothari, CEO of Housing told Moneycontrol. Apps and websites of all three companies will co-exist for now.
The merger makes PropTiger one of the largest companies in this space with bigger rivals such as MagicBricks, 99acres and smaller ones such as Sulekha, IndiaProperty, Grabhouse and CommonFloor which was acquired by Quikr, last year.
Yadav was fired by the Housing’s board led by investor Softbank in 2015 for his behaviour towards investors, ecosystem and the media. “We believe that his behaviour is not befitting of a CEO and is detrimental to the company," the Board said in a statement in 2015.
Kothari, current CEO of Housing, who will soon move out said that the merger was "a very logical marriage".
“Over the past year Housing has focused its vision from a full stack online real estate company to further strengthen online capability and become leading buying and selling platform. To complete the full stack in the offline piece we were in the process of considering whether we build that ourselves or partner with a player. PropTiger was a very strong company in the transaction space. So it became a very logical marriage,” explained Kothari, even as former Housing CEO Yadav questioned the merger.
“Housing has very strong tech and product capabilities, while PropTiger claims to be bringing a strong on the ground sales network and execution capabilities,” added Agarwala.Both companies said that the merger will provide customers with complete hand holding — right from search and discovery on the Housing platform to transaction fulfilment which includes site visit, registration, help with documentation, and home finance.