Published On: Fri, May 15th, 2015

Indian Start-Up Co-Founder Gives Away Entire Stock Worth $25 Million to Employees, Urges Others to Follow Suit

 
A week after hastily withdrawing his resignation, India’s Housing.com CEO and co-founder Rahul Yadav surprised everyone by allotting all his shares worth $ 25 million to company’s employees.
 
In December 2014, Japanese investment fund SoftBank had announced its decision to invest $90 million in Housing.com.
 
Earlier this month,  26 year-old CEO and co-founder resigned from the company citing ‘intellectually incapability’ of the investors to have any meaningful exchange. Yadav was reportedly persuaded to stay as the CEO of the company after a “frank and healthy discussions” with the Japanese investors.
 
The meeting was followed by conflicting remarks by Yadav once again hinting at his disaffection with the investors. On Wednesday, Yadav announced giving away his entire 4.5 per cent holding in the company, valued at about $25 million, in an open door meeting held at a Mumbai hotel, attended by several company employees. 
 
Later, what sounded more like an ice-bucket challenge, Yadav went on social media urging fellow Indian start-up founders, Deepinder Goyal of Zomato and Bhavish Aggarwal of Olacabs to “continue this noble act” and give away half of their shares to the employees. Yadav also called them to nominate other entrepreneurs on social media to join this pay-it-forward challenge.
 
A Bangalore-based veteran Indian business man dubbed it as an “impulsive decision by an immature person.” Another Indian start-up founder compared Yadav’s recent actions to a soap opera. 
 
Housing.com is an Indian real estate search portal operating from Mumbai. The company employs more than 2, 000 people and has over 6, 000 brokers in 40 Indian cities. Apart from Japan’s SoftBank Capital, the real estate portal is backed by investors like Qualcomm Ventures, Nexus Venture Partners, and Helion Venture Partners.
 
Vijeta Uniyal is an Indian journalist based in Europe and Contributing Editor for Jewish Business News
 

 

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