Every employee now a shareholder: Rahul Yadav gifts his entire Housing.com stake to staff

Rahul Yadav, CEO of start-up Housing.com, stormed back into the news yesterday after he announced in a townhall meeting that he is giving away all of his Rs 200 crore personal equity in the company to his 2251 employees. The reason? He thinks "it is too early in life to be serious about money etc".

"Every employee of Housing.com is now a company shareholder," the company said in a statement yesterday announcing Yadav's decision to pledge all his shares to the staff.

The employees will get approximately 1 year of their annual salaries worth of Housing stocks, the statement said.

Rahul-Yadav-housing

Rahul Yadav

"Housing was started because of 2 reasons: 1. House hunting problem is unsolved globally. Just the problem statement gives me a lot of kick. 2. In each and every country there are 4-5 players doing the same poor job and still not able to solve the problem. Across the globe there are 500+ players. We want to unify all and create a global giant for real estate so that the one company can afford much higher level of R&D and Technological innovation to push the category forward," he was quoted as saying in the statement.

"I'm just 26 and it's too early in life to get serious about money etc," he added.

However, according to a report in the Mint newspaper, citing two unnamed employees, the board is yet to approve the move.

Yadav was in news recently for sending a controversial resignation letter to the company's board questioning the members' "intellectual capability", only to apologise and withdraw later.

The company, started in 2012, has until now raised about $120 million from investors. In the last round, when it raised $90 million from Japan's Softbank, it was valued at $200-300 million, a report in Techcircle said.

The company's success has made it a head-turner of sorts in India's brimming start-up ecosystem. Yourstory.com had described the young CEO as young, brash and confident.

However, is the latest move, coming after the bad press that Yadav got after his U-turn on resignation, making him generous too? Not everybody thinks so.

Another report in Techcircle says the move has surprised and shocked Yadav's colleagues and also investors. This is because only two days back had the investors - SoftBank, Helion Ventures and Nexus Venture Partners - decided to create a pool for stock options by giving away some of their stakes.

Before that, the co-founders had also decided to give away part of their holding for the ESOP pool.

Read in this context, one may suspect that more than generosity, it is oneupmanship that has prompted Yadav's decision.

Whatever the reason, Yadav seems to be bracing for another run-in with Housing.com's board.


Updated Date: May 14, 2015 11:06 AM

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