Housing.com to add senior advisers, eyes acquisitions2 min read . Updated: 05 Apr 2016, 01:57 AM IST
SoftBank-backed Housing might look to raise another round of fresh funds by the end of the year, says CEO Jason Kothari
To scale-up monetization efforts, online real estate website Housing.com is strengthening its management team by adding senior advisers, and is eyeing acquisitions to pump up inorganic growth, a top company executive said.
Japan’s SoftBank-backed Housing.com might look to raise another round of fresh funds by the end of the year, said chief executive Jason Kothari in an interview on Saturday.
Kothari declined to divulge further details.
“We are well capitalized for now but may seek fresh capital by end of the year," he said.
Housing.com, run by Locon Solutions Pvt. Ltd, has also received an undisclosed amount of investment from the former business head at 99acres.com, Vineet Singh, who will act as a senior adviser to the company.
Singh is co-founder of Buildzar.com, an online portal for construction material and home construction solutions, and will help Housing in refining its revenue model and help scout companies for its inorganic growth strategy.
“The focus of the new management at Housing is to build a revenue model and my domain expertise lies there," said Singh. “Housing has so far focused on customer acquisition but not on monetizing the traffic they get," he added.
Though Kothari and Singh denied any immediate strategic alliance between Buildzar and Housing, both agreed that synergies between Housing.com and other real estate portals such as Buildzar or 99acres could be explored in future.
Singh, who has been investing in start-ups for almost two years now, invests in the range of $10,000-50,000. He is an angel investor in Plabro.com, an online platform for brokers; on-demand transport and moving service Moovo.in; self-drive car rental firm JustRide and online fashion portal Seenit.in; among others.
“Vineet brings with him enriching experience, deep understanding of the ecosystem, and a decade of high-achieving sales leadership in the online real estate space. On board as a personal investor, Vineet will also serve as a senior adviser to the firm, working closely with the management team," said Kothari.
Mumbai-based Housing.com’s business has suffered dramatically since last year when it was caught in a series of controversies involving co-founder Rahul Yadav and investors.
After a series of public spats with investors and media, Yadav was asked to leave the company in July.
Since then, the company’s board has been closely involved in the day-to-day operations and is trying to restructure the business.
Amid high cash burn and a management crisis, Housing.com had fired 600 employees in August last year.
In November, the investors, in an attempt to turn around the business at Housing.com, named Jason Kothari as the chief executive officer.
Kothari, who was serving as chief business officer at Housing.com since August, was named chief executive officer after a day-long board meeting at the company’s headquarters in Mumbai.
Last month, co-founder Advitya Sharma quit to pursue other opportunities.
Founded by 12 Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-Bombay) graduates in 2012, Housing.com, has raised over $100 million, largely from SoftBank Corp, Nexus Ventures and Helion Venture Partners.