Rahul Yadav Is Back: Flipkart Founders Invest In Rahul’s New Startup Aiming eGovernance Sector
Founder and ex-CEO of Housing.com, Rahul Yadav, has officially made his comeback into the Indian startup scene. At an event organized by Flipkart, Rahul Yadav disclosed that he is working on a new startup called ‘Intelligent Interfaces’; and he has already received undisclosed investment from Flipkart’s founders.
Rahul, who was fired by VCs from his own company which he founded, said, “This time I have decided not to take VC money,”
As per Rahul, his new company will provide tech related solutions for eGovernance, which will help save thousands of crores of rupees. Giving an example, he said that a simple interface for creating and authenticating online rental agreements can save Rs 2000-3000 crore for the Government.
He said, “The startup will be an interface that will be used by government officials. I see very large businesses that can be created in partnerships with government”
Sachin Bansal has confirmed this development, but didn’t disclose the amount invested, or any further details. He said, “He is doing something which is good for the country”
We had earlier reported that Rahul may launch a data analytics startup, which is backed by Paytm, Flipkart and Micromax.
What Went Wrong With Housing.com?
Rahul Yadav admitted at the event, he said, “There was a clear disconnect from the beginning.”
Housing.com, which was co-founded by Rahul Yadav and 11 other engineers from IIT holds the record for receiving largest funding for online real estate classified portal. After raising around $140 million from top-notch investors such as Nexus Venture Partners, Softbank and Helion Venture Partners; things turned ugly for them.
After an ugly spat with Shailendra Singh from Sequoia Capital India, Rahul’s troubles refused to subside. Even as he converted into a entrepreneur-messiah by donating his shares to Housing’s employees, his each and every action was closely scrutinized by his VCs.
He resigned, then took back his resignation and tension continued to build on between him and investors. Finally, in July this year, he was unceremoniously fired from his own startup, and the control snatched away from him.
But Housing.com, under another CEO isn’t growing that well either. First of all, immediately after his firing, the website of Housing.com was vandalized, and a mocking message was displayed as if employees have revolted against Rahul’s firing.
After wards, the new management decided to fire more people, and streamline their operations drastically, ditching several niches. Soon, rumors started floating that Housing.com is on sale for $50 million, which was later denied.
During the event where Rahul announced his new startup, he made some interesting observations, as he said, “I was advised that relationship between investors and entrepreneurs is like marriage….and all that. But when it came down to guys at third or fourth levels, they would start asking for revenues.”, adding, “In this [smartphone] era, some of them were still using Blackberry,”
What Could Have Been Done?
The event was attended by several entrepreneurs who have successfully launched million dollar startups. Some of them shared what could have happened to save Housing.com.
Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma said, “Clearly Rahul had too many investors to manage. I always believe that if you have more than three people to talk to for key decisions, it’s always a challenge.”
He also said, “A company not run by its founder is not scalable,” adding, “If I was [Housing] CEO I would hire less people, If the investor, I would bring [Yadav] back,”
InMobi CEO Naveen Tewari said, “If I was running Housing, I would bring him back and tell him that it’s your baby, it’s your job to run it. The crux is that you can’t replace the passion which a founder brings to create something disruptive.”
Flipkart CEO Sachin Bansal said,“I would focus more on customers than shareholders.”
It would be interesting to observe how Rahul Yadav utilizes the backing he has received from some of the biggest names of Indian startup industry; and how he leverages the resources to make an impact.
We will keep you updated as more details come in.