Just after a year of acquisition by Quikr, the three founders of real estate portal Common Floor viz. Sumit Jain, Vikas Malpani, and Lalit Mangal have quit the company. CommonFloor was working as an independent entity to date post-acquisition.
After their resignation, the air is yet to get cleared on whether the trio will be heading towards another venture together or will be opting for separate companies. “We are looking at transitioning out to pursue other interests,” as stated by the three co-founders to ET.
They further added, “The combined business across QuikrHomes, CommonFloor, and Grabhouse is clearly the leading and most innovative online real estate player in India. What we started is now in safe hands of the largest and strongest classifieds business in India, and we feel ready to take on new challenges.”
Long Story Short
Quikr bought CommonFloor in a $200 Mn all-stock deal in January 2016 to deepen its real estate business, just four months after it launched its own home search business, QuikrHomes.
CommonFloor was founded in 2007 and was backed by big venture capital funds like Tiger Global, Accel Partners, and Google Capital. The company raised multiple rounds of funding, which saw participation from Google Capital in 2015 along with Tiger Global in 2014, who invested $10 Mn and $30 Mn in separate rounds.
The acquisition also made news earlier due to the immediate firing of more than 150 CommonFloor employees and shut down the CommonFloor office which forced employees to work out of the Quikr office in Bengaluru along with co-founder Sumit Jain. Also, within six months, Quikr shut down Flatchat’s office in Bengaluru, a rental flatmate-finding application owned by CommonFloor.
In a letter to the CommonFloor employees, at the time of acquisition, Sumit had promised that “don’t worry about your job or role.” But as per employees, this assurance has not been met.
According to employees, there were around 52 people in Flatchat, of which only technology team got absorbed in Quikr. Flatchat, a mobile-based platform that helps students and bachelors find accommodation and flatmates, is said to have a user base of 300K users, including 10K in Singapore where the app was launched in 2015. It had raised $2.5 Mn in funding from CommonFloor last June, after being acquired by it in April 2014.
“CommonFloor has been a great addition to our real estate portfolio. After a planned period of transition, the CommonFloor founding team is moving on to their next endeavour and we wish them all the best in their future journey. We will continue to invest in and build QuikrHomes, CommonFloor and Grabhouse as leading franchises in the Indian online real estate industry,” said Quikr in an official statement.
Soon after the CommonFloor acquisition, Quikr also grabbed real estate portal Grabhouse in November 2016. Grabhouse was founded in 2013 by Prateek Shukla and Pankhuri Shrivastava.
[The development was reported by ET.]