housing, housing partner

Housing.com, the struggling real-estate platform, has finally found a buyer for its business. The company is in advanced stages of discussion with PropTiger for a sale of its platform. According to multiple reports in the media, the talks between PropTiger and Housing have been in the works for last few months. And sources aware of the matter suggest that the acquisition will be an all-stock deal.

Housing has been in talks for the sale of its business for over a year now but a definitive agreement is still to be signed. According to sources, the announcement of the merger and the financing is expected over the next few days.

In September last year, both the online portals — Housing and PropTiger had struck a revenue-sharing agreement to use each other’s core capabilities. This was being seen as a step close, towards the merger of their businesses.

The partnership was aimed at combining Housing’s online reach with PropTiger’s robust and rapidly expanding offline services, such as site-visits, paperwork, negotiations and home loans. This allowed Housing to feature select new projects on its online platform and then employ the offline services to seal transactions with customers.

According to Times of India, Jason Kothari, the CEO of Housing, is expected to leave the SoftBank-backed company after the completion of the sale. He was brought in following the sacking of Housing co-founder and chief executive Rahul Yadav in 2015, after a fallout of his public spat with the company’s investors.

The combined entity is said to be backed by News Corp, SoftBank and other existing investors. A source aware of the matter said that “none of the investors are exiting.”

Housing.com, which was one of the fastest growing real-estate startups of India, took a significant beating to its valuation due to upheaval in the company. Housing’s peak valuation was about $220-250 million at the end of 2014. This was at the time when it had raised $90 million in a funding round, led by SoftBank.

To reduce burn rate and to sustain at the time of struggle, the company had to shut multiple businesses, including listings and rentals, at the end of 2015. It also let-go many of its employees.

PropTiger was founded in 2011 by Dhruv Agarwala, Kartika Varma and Prashan Agarwal and has been incorporated in Singapore as Elara Technologies Pte. The startup has raised funding from Accel Partners, SAIF Partners and Horizon Ventures besides News Corp.

Housing.com was founded by a dozen IIT Bombay students in 2012 as a house search site and raised around $120 million in two years from investors including SoftBank.

The real-estate space in India is now witnessing consolidation among top ventures. PropTiger had acquired Makaan.com, one of the earliest property listing sites in India in April 2015. This was followed by Quikr’s acquisition of Commonfloor in January 2016.

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