CommonFloor founders quit a year after merger with Quikr

Just over a year after online classifieds portal Quikr announced the acquisition of realty portal CommonFloor, the latter's three co-founders have quit the merged entity.

Sumit Jain, co-founder and former CEO of CommonFloor, confirmed the development to Techcircle, adding the "reason of moving was to pursue other interests." CommonFloor, run by maxHeap Technologies Pvt Ltd, was founded in 2007 by Sumit Jain, Vikas Malpani and Lalit Mangal. Mangal and Jain were batchmates at Indian Institute of Technology-Roorkee. However, the trio will continue to be advisers at the merged entity. "We will continue supporting CommonFloor and Quikr as the advisor (sic)," Jain added.

The development was first reported by The Economic Times on Monday.

QuikrHomes had bought CommonFloor in a mostly share swap deal in January last year. VCCircle was the first to break the news of the merger in May 2015.

At that time, CommonFloor had raised significant capital of around $57 million from investors Tiger Global and Accel Partners India. Tiger Global is a major investor in Quikr, which has crossed $1 billion in valuation.

Jain also clarified all three co-founders are still shareholders at Quikr. "We have not sold any of our stakes and continue to be shareholders in Quikr."

A Quikr spokesperson told Techcircle in an emailed response, "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. "

At the time of the merger, CommonFloor had about 1,000 employees and QuikrHomes had close to 350 people.

Jain had said there would be no layoffs at CommonFloor as a result of this deal. "We still need more people than both the teams put together," he had said. But CommonFloor saw lay-offs in March last year, just two months after the merger.

India's online realty business is witnessing consolidation as two other major players, News Corp-backed PropTiger and SoftBank-funded Housing, joined forces last week. The parent of this website is owned by News Corp, the largest shareholder in PropTiger, which competes with QuikrHomes and Commonfloor.