It was reported in the media that Quikr may be in discussions with Housing.com for a takeover in the days ahead. It is said that the deal could be worth INR 1100 crore. When Housing.com received its last round of funding in November 2014 it was worth INR 1500 crore. Now that the company has sacked CEO Rahul Yadav with “immediate effect”, it is to be seen whether the takeover by Quikr will be its next major announcement. The decision was unanimously taken by the Board of Directors during today’s meeting.
Ex-CEO of Housing.com Had Rubbished Takeover Plans as ‘Rumours’
The ex-CEO of the property portal had come up with a completely different version. In his email correspondence with media, he affirmed that Housing.com is on an expansion mode and looking at some acquisitions to “spread its foothold across segments”. Denying any claims on selling the business to Quikr, Rahul Yadav had said that the company is particularly interested in two acquisitions: “one will be in society management and another from builders’ side”. He had convincingly refuted claims about his resignation from the company as “mere rumours”.
Problems Plaguing Housing.com
As people within the company have been saying, there are several issues that first need to be addressed before any decision can be taken regarding the acquisition. The investors have been reportedly looking for ways out since the organisation has been in the news for almost everything except the market it is supposed to cater to.
Rahul Yadav had a short stint as the CEO and co-founder of Housing.com. However, during this period, he resigned on two occasions. He had rather uncomfortable exchanges with other investors regarding the issue of poaching employees and had once given away all his shares (worth INR 200 crore) to the employees in the company.
SoftBank, which is one of the leading shareholders in Housing.com, has not provided any confirmation of the news that Quikr may take over Housing.com. It has invested almost 70 million dollars. Quikr itself is yet to give any opinion on the same.
What’s On Cards for Investors?
If the much talked about acquisition happens, the investors in Housing.com will be able to break away from the entity that’s mired in controversies. Moreover, they will be able to claim stake in Quikr.
Possible Benefits for Quikr From the Acquisition
Industry experts are of the opinion that the acquisition will be helpful for Quikr. The company has aspirations in the real estate sector and it could be the perfect deal for them. Quikr announced QuikrHomes.com, a real estate website, in April. It has also stated that 500 employees have been taken on board for the project. It also needs to be noted in this context that around half of the deals happening on this website are related to real estate.
Every month, almost two lakh transactions happen on the website that are related to real estate. Pranav Chulet, Quikr’s CEO, says that there are almost 20 lakh real estate agents on the website. If they are able to acquire Housing.com, it will be a good platform to launch themselves in real estate business. They will not have to take recourse to other forms of marketing and advertising for their new product.
A Shot in the Arm for Quikr
In March 2015, eBay and Tiger Global invested 150 million dollars in Quikr and this helped the company become one of the few startups in India that can boast of having billion dollars in their kitty. The company already earns INR 30,000 crore every month through 15 lakh transactions that happen every month. In recent times, Quikr has added a lot of innovative features to their classified website such as the following:
- Buy Through Quikr button
- Instant chat
- A portal dedicated to jobs
- Free home delivery
- Car inspection service