Besides the ongoing hunt for a CEO, online realty startup Housing.com is looking for a CFO too. SoftBank, which holds over 32.5 per cent stake in Housing, is leading the selection process. These two key positions are likely to be filled in by August as a number of candidates are shortlisted, according to sources.
Suvir Sujan, co-founder of Nexus Partners, who is on Housing’s board, and Haresh Chawla, an early investor in the company, who was recently inducted into its operating committee, are interviewing candidates for the post of CFO who would later be interviewed by SoftBank representative Jonathan Bullock.
Executive search firm Spencer Stuart, which has been helping the firm find CEO, has got the mandate from the Housing board to find out candidates for CFO as well. The investors led by SoftBank had mandated Spencer Stuart to search for CEO candidates early this year amid friction between them and co-founder and then CEO Rahul Yadav as first reported by VCCircle.
Yadav was eventually fired from the company for questionable behaviour with investors, media and other stakeholders in the startup ecosystem.
Currently, Azeem Zainulbhai, chief of staff at Housing, is taking care of the finance function at the startup. Zainulbhai, an alumni of University of Chicago and a former investment banker, was involved with Housing’s fundraising. The board of Housing at its last meeting decided to appoint a full-time CFO.
Once these key positions are filled, the company could also look at a new chief business officer as former Groupon India MD Trip Wagoner, who joined as chief business officer last year, left the company after a few months.
While co-founder Abhishek Anand leads the technology team as chief technology officer, former business head of Star India Pratik Seal is chief marketing officer.
Meanwhile, the company, which raised $90 million from SoftBank in end 2014, is likely to look for another round of fundraising in three to four months. While SoftBank may participate in the next round, the Japanese telecom and internet conglomerate is unlikely to lead the round, said one of the sources cited above.
Housing’s competitors include PropTiger in which News Corp, the parent of this website, holds a stake.