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Housing.com’s CEO blames Times Group over a news report on his recent spat with Sequoia

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Just days after indulging into a verbal war with Sequoia India, Housing.com CEO Rahul Yadav has slashed down India’s largest media house, the Times Group for publishing an article referring to his replacement as the CEO of Housing.com.

In what appeared to many, as an act of non professionalism, Rahul Yadav, CEO of one of India’s hottest startups Housing.com, accused Sequoia Capital’s MD Shailendra Singh of poaching staff with some rather harsh words.

While that public war had gained significant traction (significant does not even come close though..), Economic Times published a news report which said that Housing.com’s investors, who are now believed to own majority stake, were looking for a new chief executive.

In a counter-attack to ET’s report, Yadav targeted MagicBricks, a real-estate broker site owned by Times Internet Ltd., saying that it is raising funds in the U.S. “while maligning” Housing’s position in India.

Here’s what Yadav’s Internal Email read like (via VCCircle)-

Date: Thu, Mar 12, 2015 at 5:19 AM

Subject: Investors considering to remove Housing.com co-founder Rahul Yadav as CEO: Economic Times

1.     Investors called me and said Times is behind you, be ready for such story

2.     MagicBricks (Our competitor and a Times Group Company) is trying to close funding round in US while malign Housing’s position in India. Housing is being loved in US.

3.     And they linked me with that unfortunate car accident. They have no shame!

4.     After paying for past and upcoming marketing blasts’ advances as well, We still have 75Mn+ in our bank. 

Ola cabs raised $200Mn. We raised $90Mn. Almost at the same time. Their cash burn is 125Cr per month and ours <20Cr that too with recent ramp up. Where is the high cash burn?

5.     Overseas expansion: We WISH to. We DREAM to. How come dreaming is leading to cash burn in international?

Please suggest what to do with this Times Group

Have a good day.

Cheers,

Rahul

Yadav also pointed out a snippet in a story stating it as an error that accused him of being involved in an incident few weeks ago where two people died in a late night single-car accident. Appropriate legal actions are being taken against Housing co-founder Advitiya Sharma.

The MagicBricks information memo claims it is the largest property listings company in India with around 40 per cent market-share in terms of number of visits, and the most number of active listings, some 600,000.

Interestingly, Rahul has also mentioned a specific point regarding cash burn, where in he blasphemes on accusations that Housing is burning too much cash every month, just for its re-branding campaign. He quite conveniently compares Housing with Ola as far as cash-burn is concerned. FYI, Housing is an online real-estate platform, whereas Ola runs its own cabs out on roads. The comparison looks utterly amateurish to say the least.

While many important names in the industry refereed it as an act of indecency and sheer unprofessionalism, certain startup founders have come up in Rahul’s defence, saying that investors are indee exploiting India’s start-up situation. Be it any way, the issue is set to make an unrecoverable dent on the company’s reputation. It is yet to be seen if Yadav will be asked to step down the post any sooner or not.


 

Senior Writer


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