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Housing.com sees third co-founder exit, Rishabh Agrawal puts in his papers

Rishabh Agrawal, co-founder and head- marketing and creatives of real estate portal Housing.com (earlier Housing.in) has left the company. He had put in his papers last month, according to a The Economic Times report.

Agrawal is the third co-founder to exit the startup till date. Earlier Saurabh Goyal, a backend developer at Housing had left the company in 2012. Post that, another co-founder Vaibhav Tolia, who was also responsible for the total performance and development of Housing's mobile website quit the company.

"We have changed our business model at least three times and if a co-founder at any point didn't fit our role requirements, we put them on the bench. As a result some of them have quit," Rahul Yadav, CEO, Housing.com, told ET.

"In an ideal situation, Housing would have six co-founders and six early employees. If Rahul Yadav, Abhishek Anand, Snehil Buxy, Ravish Naresh or Advitiya Sharma left, that would worry me," added Zishaan Hayath, co-founder of the phone commerce company Chaupaati Bazaar (acquired by Future Group) and one of the first investors in Housing.

Housing was set up by a dozen IIT Bombay students in 2012. Post these exits, this number has reduced by a quarter.

Interestingly, just last week Advitiya Sharma, co-founder, Housing, had discussed in detail with Techcircle.in about having multiple co-founders yet getting the startup formula right, mentioning that the founders were a set of 12 friends with a common goal of replicating the offline experience of buying or renting a property without necessitating physical presence.

"Coming from an engineering background, we are trained to break situation and scenarios and come out with things in a structured manner that has a well defined math or formula. You can call me a nerd for this but that's what has really worked for us. That said, none of us would deny that we have had several discussions and long arguments- but no conflicts," said Sharma.

Owned and operated by Mumbai-based Locon Solutions Pvt Ltd, the startup enables real estate brokers to upload unlimited listings on the site while users can search properties for free. The firm recently added 12 more cities to its platform, including Ahmedabad, Indore, Jaipur, Thiruvananthapuram, Vishakhapatnam, Nashik, Vadodara, Mangalore, Trivandarum, Surat, Mohali and Vijaywada to take the total city count to 25. By the end of this year, the company aims at expanding its reach to 40 cities.

Earlier this year, the company raised approximately $19 million in a fresh round of funding from Helion Venture Partners, Nexus Ventures and Qualcomm Ventures. In June last year, the startup had raised $2.5 million in pre-Series A funding from Nexus Ventures. Prior to that, it attracted two rounds of angel funding. In March 2013, the company raised angel funding from former Network18 CEO Haresh Chawla, immediately after securing an undisclosed sum from a group of angel investors, led by Hayath.

Online property search market is highly competitive with various players including 99acres.com, IndianProperty.com, Makaan.com, Magicbricks.com, Housing.com, CommonFloor.com and Proptiger.com among others. Most of these firms have raised funding over the last couple of years.

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