Housing.com co-founder and former board member Advitiya Sharma has quit the company and plans to start his own startup. “I have not firmed up my plans yet. I have a few ideas in education and cleantech,” Sharma told VCCircle.
Earlier on Wednesday, Sharma wrote to Housing employees announcing his departure from the company. “But the toughest phase in our history, was the last nine months. Nothing haunts a team more than a threat to the survival of what it stands for,” he said in the mail referring to the tumultuous phase of the company after the controversial exit of its co-founder CEO Rahul Yadav.
Housing.com, which begun as a college startup of a dozen IITians led by Yadav four years ago, quickly raised around $121 million, mostly from Japanese conglomerate SoftBank.
Flush with funds, Yadav went on a fast-paced expansion and marketing drive and attempted buyouts. Subsequent to Yadav’s exit, the company was forced to shut down many divisions, operations in many cities and served pink slips to many employees.
“But a huge number of people in our headquarters and across offices, didn't lose hope….. We're also working on some big projects, that will put us in a strong position in the industry,” Sharma wrote in the mail.
Under Jason Kothari, who joined the company in August and became CEO in November, the company streamlined its operations to focus on facilitating buying and selling of residential properties online and scaled back rental listing and search.
Sharma, as a board member, was actively involved in the investor and external relations of the company when Yadav got into public spats with investors and media.
Hailing from Jammu, Sharma who completed his B Tech and M Tech from IIT Mumbai, is also an advisor to a number of startups. With Sharma’s departure, only three from the founding team—chief technology officer Abhishek Anand, chief product officer Snehil Buxy, and head of digital marketing Amrit Raj—are now part of the firm.
Housing.com competes with MagicBricks and 99acres, besides a host of others including PropTiger.
News Corp, which owns 30 per cent in PropTiger, acquired Mosaic Media Ventures Pvt Ltd, the parent of this website in March 2015.