#Asia SoftBank builds up Housing with US$15M investment


In December 2014, SoftBank had injected US$90 million into the real estate portal, making it the largest investor in Housing


Online real estate platform Housing.com has received US$15 million in fresh funding from its largest investor SoftBank.

The latest funding will “well-capitalise the company to drive its new strategy and growth plans”, the Mumbai-based startup said in a statement.

“We are now well-capitalised to aggressively execute on our focussed strategy and growth plans and believe 2016 will be a great year for the company,” said Housing CEO Jason Kothari.

As per an official statement, Housing now has a focussed strategy on buying and selling homes — the largest and most lucrative segment of the real estate market than the renting and leasing business. It is also going deeper in the value chain towards facilitating and fulfilling transactions.

Founded in 2012, Housing has been mired in controversy since its former CEO Rahul Yadav’s stinking e-mail exchange with Shailendra Singh, MD of leading VC firm Sequoia Capital, over the poaching of employees. This episode led to Yadav’s unceremonious exit from the company.

Last year, Housing also received flak for its decision to lay off around 800 of its employees to cut costs.

Also Read: Just Buy Live raises US$20M to connect Indian retailers with brands online

Since the entry of SoftBank with a US$90-million investment in December 2014, Housing has been trying to stabilise its operations. In September, the firm acqui-hired two startups — Plat, an online network for agents, and BigBHK, a property management software targeted at rental suppliers.

In the past, Housing has also acquired India Real Estate Forum, an online community for real estate; HomeBuy360, a popular CRM for developers; and Realty Business Intelligence, data analytics and due diligence company for real estate. These companies are expected to help the company execute its strategy and growth plans.

With almost eight million hits a month, Housing claims the site received 85 million visits in 2015 alone. It also claims to have 1.7 million verified listings to date.

In the past, Housing.com has raised around US$120 million in capital from investors, including Nexus Ventures, Falcon Edge, Helion Ventures, Nirvana Ventures, Qualcomm and many prominent angel investors.

Housing competes with the likes of 99acres and MagicBricks. Recently, online classifieds company Quikr merged CommonFloor with its real estate vertical QuikrHomes.

Also Read: India’s FirstCry.com is Ratan Tata’s newest investment baby

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