Home > companies > people > Housing.com CEO takes on Sequoia India in online public forum

Mumbai: On Wednesday, a leaked email surfaced on Quora, the question and answer website which curates questions from its community of users.

The letter was addressed from Rahul Yadav, CEO and co-founder of Housing.com, a real estate listing start-up to Shailendra Singh, the managing director of Sequoia India, a venture capital firm. And ever since it has created a stir, of sorts, among start-ups, investors and industry watchers.

The content of Yadav’s mail, dated 6 March is intriguing. Where he addresses Singh as “Dude". And then he goes on: “I’ve been humble to you guys even after inhuman and unethical things that you’ve done with Housing in the past. You did the same inhuman and unethical things with large number of entrepreneurs including Ola, TFS, Flipkart, Dexetra and many more...Now I just came to know you personally are completely after Housing’s employees and are brainwashing them to open some stupid incubation. If you don’t stop messing around with me, directly or even indirectly, I will vacate the best of your firm. Also, this marks the beginning of the end of Sequoia Cap in India. Try me :)"

Something like this is usually left alone as a rant after going public but interestingly, it has elicited a response from Singh.

In his reply, Singh says that he’s deeply hurt by the email and it perhaps relates to an offer that Sequoia made to one of Housing.com’s employees, to come on board as an analyst. And then, he goes on to painstakingly explain how the Indian start-up ecosystem needs to grow up a little. “During my career in the valley, what stood out is a feeling of community—amongst entrepreneurs, employees, and investors—and a sense of professionalism, not personalizing the competition between funds or individuals, and having a drink together in the evening. For us, that means not being vindictive and petty and instead being collaborative with the ecosystem—to focus on what matters in the long term."

Read Singh’s full response and the thread here.

Now, there’ something more in Singh’s response which needs to be highlighted. And that is this bit: “Finally, I want to also make it clear to all the trolls who are bound to jump on this—I will not respond to anything you have to say as long as you hide behind the cowardly façade of anonymity."

A bit of background should help here. This is not the first time that Sequoia has been part of a controversy. Only last year, a long, thread emerged on the application, Secret with this lead: “Sequoia India has raised another fund. Few more Indian startups are about to be screwed. #bhagosequoiaaya."

The thread had more than 200 responses and not many of them are positive.

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