Housing has announced that it has secured a fresh funding round worth ₹100 crore from its existing and largest investor & shareholder — SoftBank. And the round’s lower amount clearly indicates that the round might just be a push from Softbank to keep the company operational, at least for a while.
The company has not disclosed any other financial details of the deal, including SoftBank’s increase in stake after the fresh infusion of Rs. 100 crores. Prior to this funding round, SoftBank owned close to 32 percent stake in the company, and Housing overall is more than 90% sold off to investors.
Housing’s big break — and big trouble too — came in when it has raised $90 Million from Softbank in the winters of 2014 along with the participation of other investors, valuing the company at ₹1,500 crore.
Housing.com’s CEO Jason Kothari said,
Softbank is one of the world’s largest and most successful investors. Their continued support as both investors and advisors to Housing.com is invaluable to us and signifies their long-term commitment to the company. We are now well-capitalised to aggressively execute on our focused strategy and growth plans and believe 2016 will be a great year for the company.
With around 85 million visits in 2015 and 1.7 million verified listings to date, Housing said that it is building scalable revenue streams around its product, market leading demand and supply, and is also going deeper in the value chain towards facilitating and fulfilling transactions.
The company will also leverage its acquisitions, which includes India Real Estate Forum, HomeBuy360, a CRM for developers, Realty Business Intelligence, etc. for its strategy and growth plans.
Housing has been subsequently restructuring its operations ever since the company’s founder and CEO – Rahul Yadav was shown the exit door. After his departure, the company kept falling in the growth graph and had to let go more than 200 employees. The company’s valuation has also fallen to about $50 million, as per numerous acquisition rumour reports doing the rounds.
The rental startup also changed its focus to sale of homes compared to rentals and also cut down its employee base in an attempt to curb spends. This round could be SoftBank’s way of showing that it still backs the company. However, none of the other existing investors participated in this round.