Update: Readers are advised to treat this report with scepticism, since it appears that Housing’s co-founder and CEO Rahul Yadav has been misleading journalists. Under those circumstances, we have decided to temporarily suspend reportage on Housing, since we cannot trust information being shared by company executives. Above all, we do not want to provide misleading information to our readers.
Update: MediaNama had written to Housing earlier regarding the development but the company declined to now issue a written statement confirming or denying that Rahul Yadav has quit as CEO.
Update: The Economic Times has carried an update of the story saying that Rahul Yadav denied quitting the company again.
Earlier: Responding to a query from MediaNama, Housing.com has said that Rahul Yadav has not resigned from the post of chief executive officer of the company. Earlier in the day, the Economic Times reported that Yadav had stepped down from his role as CEO but will continue to work in the company and oversee product development.
Repeated attempts to reach Yadav via phone calls, SMS and email went unanswered. MediaNama also reached out to Housing investor SoftBank and we will update if we hear from them.
Yadav, who has been involved in a string of controversies, had earlier resigned from his post as CEO in May following a confrontation with its board members. In his letter, dated 30th of April, to board members and investors, Yadav criticized their intellectual capabilities and gave them a one week deadline to ‘help the transition’. The investors responded the next day with an acknowledgement of the resignation through the law firm Morrison & Foerster.
The following day, Yadav withdrew his resignation and apologized for his ‘unacceptable comments about the board members’. Yadav continued to serve as CEO and it was decided that a committee of five headed by SoftBank’s Jonathan Bullock will oversee all major decisions.
Controversy with Sequoia Capital and Times Internet
Earlier in March, it was reported that following a nasty email to Shailendra Singh, investors were considering removing Rahul Yadav as chief executive officer of real estate portal Housing.com. In his email to Shailendra Singh, Yadav was upset that Sequoia Capital was looking to poach employees at Housing.com. “Now I just came to know you personally are completely after Housing’s employees and are brainwashing them to open some stupid incubation. If you don’t stop messing around with me, directly or even indirectly, I will vacate the best of your firm,” Yadav had said in his email.
In a response on online discussion forum Quora, Shailendra Singh subsequently said that Sequoia Capital had made an offer to one of Housing’s employees. “During this recruiting exercise, we evaluated over 100 candidates from multiple companies and geographies, and I personally met about a dozen of them, including two housing employees, whom I spent an hour each with. We made an offer to one of them, and he decided to join us,” Singh said.
Later, in an internal mail, Yadav had also claimed that Times Internet owned online real estate portal Magicbricks.com was trying to “malign Housing’s position in India” while it closes a round of funding in the US. Times Group then sent a legal notice to real estate portal Housing.com owner, Locon Solutions Pvt Ltd., and its board for alleged defamation. The notice named Housing CEO Rahul Yadav and its directors, asking them to issue an unconditional apology and seeking $16 million in damages.
Housing funding: Earlier in December 2014, Housing had raised $90 million from Softbank Group, with participation from Falcon Edge and other unnamed investors.The company plans to map over 40 million houses across 300 cities in India. According to an ET report, Housing reported losses of Rs 48.8 crore on revenue of Rs 1.9 crore for the financial year ended March 31, 2014, according to filings with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs and the company has a monthly cash burn rate of Rs 50-63 crore.