Housing.com appoints Mani Rangarajan as CFO

18 Oct, 2015

Mumbai-based Locon Solutions Pvt Ltd, which runs online realty portal Housing.com, has strengthened its upper deck by appointing Silicon Valley veteran Mani Rangarajan as chief financial officer (CFO).

Rangarajan would be responsible for driving SoftBank-backed Housing.com's financial strategy and will play a key role in the company's senior management team, Housing.com said in a press statement.

Techcircle.in had reported in July that Housing.com was scouting for a CFO.

"As an ambitious company that's evolving and growing, Housing.com's endeavour is to continually strengthen its senior management team. Mani brings with him a rich and varied global finance and operations experience, which I believe will… help steer our future strategy," said Rishabh Gupta, interim CEO and COO, Housing.com.

Rangarajan holds a MBA from Stanford University's Graduate School of Business and a post graduate diploma from IIM Kolkata. He is also a cost & works accountant.

Over the last 20 years, Rangarajan has worked with several Silicon Valley startups such as Boku, Kosmix and Media Boost. Prior to that, he held senior positions at Citigroup and Yahoo. Most recently, he was CFO of billing and settlement software firm Evergent Inc.

Azeem Zainulbhai, chief of staff at Housing, was taking care of the startup's finance function till now.

It may be recalled that Housing.com had gone through several months of top-level turmoil concluding with the unceremonious exit of CEO Rahul Yadav in June. Since then, Gupta has been running the show as interim chief.

An operating committee headed by Jonathan Bullock, a representative of the lead investor SoftBank, has been overseeing the company's operations for the last six months. Housing.com recently hired Valiant Entertainment's co-founder Jason Kothari as chief business officer.

Recent news reports indicate that that the startup showed the door to 600 employees to trim costs. Housing.com maintains that 160 jobs were cut.

The Indian online realty market is dominated by Info Edge's 99acres and Times group-owned MagicBricks. PropTiger, CommonFloor, Housing.com and IndiaProperty are among other major players.

The sector attracted substantial fund flow in 2014 when investors such as News Corp and Japan's SoftBank wrote large cheques for housing startups. But it has been a dry run this year except News Corp raising its stake in PropTiger by investing an undisclosed amount in June.

Housing.com, is soon to raise fresh capital from lead investor SoftBank, almost a year after it last raised money. It would also be the first round of funding since Yadav's sacking.

Homers.in, a C2C platform that facilitates home rentals, raised its first round of funding from a clutch of angel investors last week.

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