Quikr in talks to buy out Housing.com? Board meet today to seal CEO Rahul Yadav's fate

Looks like Yadav's brash attitude has taken a toll on his company

FP Staff June 30, 2015 09:49:55 IST

After the many controversies involving its CEO Rahul Yadav, real estate listing portal Housing.com has now been put on block, say media reports.

According to reports in The Economic Times, which owns Housing's direct competitor Magicbricks.com, and VC Circle, classifieds website Quikr is in talks to acquire the company.

While VC Circle report says Yadav confirmed the development and later denied it, the ET report says he mocked the newspaper's questionnaire saying "Joke of the year".

Quikr in talks to buy out Housingcom Board meet today to seal CEO Rahul Yadavs fate

Rahul Yadav on his way out? Image from Facebook

Quoting from Yadav's mail in response to the query on the likely sale, the VC Circle report says he first replied saying it is true. “Yeah. True. But no more details at this moment as the transaction is in its last stage,” the report said citing the reply.

But then he retracted dismissing the news as rumour "spread by promoters of a rival online property company".

It has to be remembered that the Times Group has had a running battle with Housing earlier too.

The newspaper had last week published a news report saying Yadav is on his way out of the company only to pull the story down a while later, and then republish it with more quotes. The ET report on Tuesday said Yadav was the outgoing CEO of the company, though there is no official confirmation of this yet.

The ET report says the deal is likely to value Housing, which was set up by 12 IITians in 2012 and quickly became popular, at Rs 1,100 crore. According to a report in The Times of India on 17 December, Japanese telecom giant SoftBank had valued the company at Rs 1,550 crore when it invested $90 million in the company at the time.

The ET report notes that the company's valuation has taken a hit presumably because of the many controversies precipitated by Yadav. The report says the board of the company will meet today and the deal is dependent on whether Yadav will be removed from the CEO's post.

According to the earlier ET report, Yadav's resignation - the second is as many months - has come at the behest of the board this time.

The VC Circle report says citing sources that founders of Housing are upset with SoftBank as it has not informed them of its proposal to sell the company. With all these as agenda, the board meeting today is likely to be a stormy affair. SoftBank has a 33 percent stake in the company.

Yadav has been a controversial figure in the startup space. On 5 May, Yadav had put in his papers questioning the 'intellectual capability' of the board members only to apologise and return later. His run-ins with his own board have gathered pace since then.

Earlier, has has had a public spat with Sequoia Capital's Shailendra Singh over poaching of staff and took on The Economic Times publicly over the leaked emails on which the Sequoia story was based. After his return as CEO, Yadav was the talk of the town when he announced his decision to part with his stake in the company in favour of its 2500-odd employees. The board members had seen this arbitrary decision as a one-upmanship on Yadav's part as they were already creating a pool of stake for the staff.

"I’ve always been like this. It was the deans during college and now it is the VCs," Ydav, an IIT-Bombay drop-out, had told Yourstory in an interview just before the resignation drama in May.

Has Yadav's brash attitude finally taken a toll on his company?

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