While Housing.com was started by nine people, Sharma was a leader of the company and, to a certain extent, the visionary behind its success
The other shoe has dropped at Housing.com as Co-founder Advitiya Sharma resigned from the India real estate portal less than a year after controversial CEO Rahul Yadav was fired by the company board.
In an email sent to Housing employees, Sharma said, “But the toughest part of the phase were the last nine months. Nothing seems to haunt a team more than the threat of the survival of what they stand for.”
Nine months ago was when Yadav left the company. In August, Housing fired 600 employees citing overstaffing, underperformance and restructuring.”
“We had to shut-down a few offices and rethink our vision. It meant letting go of many people who we had worked with, been friends with. People who believed in our vision as much as we did. It was excruciating. I will always have the lifelong attitude, of a grateful entrepreneur,” he wrote.
The result of that vision was once one of India’s hottest startups. It counts Helion Venture Partners, Qualcomm Ventures and Softbank as its investors (with Softbank having invested US$100 million in November 2014). Just this year, Softbank invested another US$15million into the startup.
But, 2015 was a rough year for the company and unfortunately its recent struggles may, to a certain extent, have had to do with the departure of Yadav, whose public scwabble with investors was one of the worst moments any startup in all of Asia in 2015. It was a black-eye that continues to dog the company to this day.
As for Sharma himself, the son of a neuro-surgeon from Jammu, India, the journey to Housing started when his college years at ITT-Bombay were winding down. He began to look for an apartment to help transition to the ‘real world’ and found the options dreary and drab.
“People had bad experiences of house hunting in Mumbai and this was a common pain-point of many of us. I decided that this is a problem that needs to be addressed quickly. Hence, I along with a bunch of friends, started Housing,” he told e27 in July 2015.
Launched in June 2012 with nine Co-founders, the departure of Sharma means five of them have left the company. Now, CEO Jason Kothari runs operations and will move the company forward without Sharma. He was not part of the original team – hired in August 2015 and appointed CEO in November the same year.
No one from the Founding team holds a position on the board.
“Jason has quickly managed to revive our product vision, restructure the whole company and gain the confidence of investors. We are also working on some big projects, that will put us in a very strong position in the company,” the email read.
One of those projects may very well encapsulate home buying/selling because in November, Housing said it would scale down its rental, commercial properties and short stay products.
Finally in a well-played pot shot to end the email, Sharma took a light-hearted, but cutting, jab at the media, who he believes (and is not wrong) have given Housing.com a hard time after the exit of Yadav.
“It is our mission to bring transparency in Real Estate, we faced a lot of resistance. Few times from brokers and builders, sometimes from investors. And many times from the media :D,” he wrote.
The post There will be a Housing in me forever: Housing.com Co-founder Advitiya Sharma steps down appeared first on e27.
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