housing

Three months after it fired 600 of its employees, Indian real estate portal Housing plans to lay off another 200 this month, reports The Economic Times.

The move is part of the Mumbai-based startup’s attempt to meet tightened cost targets set by its shareholders.

The previous round of layoffs was a result of the company shutting a few departments, including commercial properties, short stays and land business. This time, the layoffs will be across departments, including product and marketing, the report said.

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The decision was taken at the board meeting last Friday. At present, Housing has around 1,960 employees.

Housing.com did not respond to email queries by e27.

“The focus is to control cash burn,” said an unidentified investor in the company.

“Unlike the last restructuring round, where people were asked to leave because businesses were being shut down, this time the company is laying off without solid ground,” another executive said in the report.

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Housing is also close to finalising a bridge round of funding to be led by SoftBank, which owns a 32 per cent stake in the company. This may give the Japanese investor a majority stake in the company, the publication said quoting sources.

The real estate platform has raised over US$120 million so far from a slew of international and domestic investors, including SoftBank, Falcon Edge, DST Global, Qualcomm, Helion and Nexus Venture Partners.

Started in 2012 by a group of IITians, Housing has grown from its original rent and resale proposition to include paying guests (PGs) and hostels, serviced apartments, land, plot projects and new projects. The firm provides users with unique information, including the child-friendliness and quality of life of a property.

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The real estate major has recently been in the headlines for the wrong reasons. including the ousting of its former CEO Rahul Yadav.

In September, the online real estate major acqui-hired two startups — Plat, an online network for agents and BigBHK, a property management software targetted at rental suppliers.

Housing is mainly competing with Google Capital-backed CommonFloor and InfoEdge-backed 99acres. While others have been in the business for more than four to five years, Housing has bagged more funding than both of its rivals.

Experts have often voiced that it had not been wise on the investors’ part to put in US$120 million in a two-year-old startup even though the company claims have pioneered many ‘firsts’ in the online real estate space.

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