Housing.com, the rather infamous and struggling Mumbai-based real estate search platform for finding, renting, and selling homes in India, is in talks with SouFun, a Chinese real estate portal — for either strategic investment or buyout, reports ET.
Sources familiar with the matter say that the executives of SouFun will be India early next week to meet the team of Housing. The company has also got the attention of China’s largest search engine, Baidu.
Housing continues to face a tough time with its management team since the beginning of the year. In order to ease the matter, the company has been looking for investors and strategic investment from SouFun can help the company.
The sources also revealed that SoftBank, which currently owns 32 percent of Housing and has invested about $100 million in the company, might provide Housing $30 million in a bridge round, as a sort of relief package.
Times have been turbulent for Housing, and for a long duration now. While its ex-CEO quite rightly laid the foundations for company’s rapid decline — brash investor mails, ambitious marketing, massive cash burn etc, the executive committee, which currently runs Housing is finding it tough to generate revenue and ultimately turn the company profitable.
Currently, Housing is run by an executive committee, led by Jonathan Bullock of SoftBank, which controls the finances and operations of the company. Last month, it closed four of its seven business units and laid off 160 people.
Housing.com was founded by 12 IIT students, including Rahul Yadav, Advitiya Sharma, Vaibhav Tolia, Ravish Naresh and Amrit Raj in 2012. However, four of them left company, which now has 9 of its founders remaining. The company has 6,000 brokers and serves 40 cities in India including Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata and Delhi.
Till now, the company has raised around $139.5 million in 4 funding round from Nexus Venture Partners, Helion Venture Partners, Qualcomm Ventures and SoftBank Capital. Housing is currently valued at Rs. 1,500 crores, though the company has shown desperate interests in getting sold for a lower-than-market-value amount.