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Housing.com vs Sequoia Spat Gets Uglier, Rahul Yadav May Be Ousted: Reports

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Are Indian startup founders getting reckless?

Should there be a code of conduct while communicating on public platforms for young startup founders? Are million dollar founders becoming complacent and over-confident?

These are some of the questions which are being asked by industry watchers after a public quarrel between one of the hottest Indian startups, housing.com, and a 23 year old US based venture capital firm went viral.

Few days back, a leaked email emerged on Quora thread which was written by Rahul Yadav, one of the nine co-founders of Housing.com.

Qoura thread 1

The issue was allegedly the poaching attempt by Shailendra Singh, who is the MD of Sequoia Capital India. In the end, Rahul is seen threatening Sequoia Capital’s very existence in India.

He says, “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.”

Although poaching of star employees is not uncommon and not entirely a crime which remands such threats, the aggressive and violent way in which the message was conveyed shocked everybody.

As if to broadcast the whole effect, this email was tagged to all 1500 employees of Housing.com.

Shailendra Singh, replied to this email screenshot on the same Quora thread:

“I am deeply hurt by this e-mail… Here is some more context – based on feedback from entrepreneurs in India, we decided to expand our analyst pool to include younger team members who have start–up experience. During this recruiting exercise, we evaluated over 100 candidates from multiple companies and geographies, and I personally met about a dozen of them, including two housing employees, whom I spent an hour each with. We made an offer to one of them, and he decided to join us… ”

This is the reply which Rahul wrote:

clip_image004

Rahul Yadav To Be Sacked?

Housing.com has been backed by some of the most powerful and influential venture capital firms such as Soft Bank, Helion Venture Partners and Nexus Venture Partners. The public quarrel, in which Sequoia Capital was directly mentioned, have not been taken lightly by some of them.

As per a report appearing in Economic Times, it appears that Rahul Yadav may be ousted as CEO and asked to work only as head of their products department. There has been some disagreements regarding his strategy earlier as well, and after his aggressive behavior appearing in every publication, it seems that the investors’ patience is running out.

One of the investors on conditions of anonymity, said, “(We have) been closely monitoring the company and guiding the founders. But this can’t actively go on forever,”

Housing.com is seeking rapid, all round expansion and their priorities have changed from product to growth.

Another anonymous investor said, “The founding team at Housing is very tech-oriented. Rahul is an excellent product guy. However, to scale operations and to build a business, it takes more than just building a product. Which is why we feel we should put in place a strategic leadership team.”

However, Rahul has stated that the rumors are false, and he is there to stay and lead the team. He rubbished claims that any investor has ever said these things.

He said,” There is no investor say in the company, I run it and take all the calls.”

We will keep you updated as more details emerge regarding this matter.

  1. […] rumours about acquisition to CEO’s spat with the Board of directors, sacking of its CEO followed by mass firings, Housing.com and its ex-CEO Rahul Yadav have […]

  2. ajay says

    Sequoia and capital firms like that should not be allowed to take gullible new entrepreneurs for a ride.

    There should be an association which educates and protects new entrepreneurs.

  3. Prakash Palhat says

    Sachin Bansal’s take was spot on. Sequoia Capital tends to be very adventurous in pitches they failed to bag. It is not only Shailendra but his colleagues like Mohit Bhatnagar and others also have this “Our Way or Highway” attitude. Sacking Yadav would be a huge blunder. There should be an investigative forensic audit on all Sequoia investments starting with Healthkart and I mean it. If Sequoia is caught with their hands in the cookie jar, they must be ejected out of India.

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