Startup Stories

06 Aug'18

startup

Common-floor : A new hope for homeless wanderers




It all started when they came to Bangalore in 2007 and couldn’t find the right property. After finding something to their satisfaction, many new problems cropped up which all had their seed in the process of moving to a new house. In this case, it was a sewage problem in the society which wasn’t getting solved because none of the society residents knew each other or had any sort of co-ordination to come to a conclusion. Privy to these problems, the trio of Sumit Jain, Lalit Mangal and Vikas Malpani ventured out to find a solution and thus was born CommonFloor.

The three cofounders of real estate portal CommonFloor have quit the company, a year after it was acquired by online classifieds firm Quikr for $200 million.

Founded by Sumit Jain, Vikas Malpani and Lalit Mangal in 2007, CommonFloor has over the past year seen a series of employee layoffs. It is unclear if the three cofounders are headed to separate companies or are looking at a new business opportunity together.

“CommonFloor has been a great addition to our real estate portfolio”, Quikr said in a statement in response to ET’s queries. “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.”

Post the acquisition, CommonFloor continued as an individual brand under QuikrHomes. Of the 1,000 employees who worked for CommonFloor at the time of the acquisition, only a handful remain in the company.

The CommonFloor office in Bengaluru was also shut down by Quikr to consolidate operations. “We are looking at transitioning out to pursue other interests”, the three cofounders of CommonFloor said in a statement in response to ET’s queries.

“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.”

Quikr Homes, the real estate vertical of the classifieds site, also acquired Sequoia-backed Grabhouse in November to enter the managed property rental business. The real estate space has seen rapid consolidation since with News Corp-backed PropTiger merging with SoftBank-backed Housing-.com in an all-stock deal last week.

CommonFloor has recently launched an offline discussion forum for communities called ‘RightStep’ where they invite experts from different walks of life to talk to about improving the quality of life around homes. The first chapter of the forum was organized in Bangalore earlier this year and brought together government officials, civic and legal experts to answer apartment residents’ queries on formation & management of apartment associations, solid waste management and sewage treatment. The second chapter took place on the World Earth Day in Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai and Pune to sensitize residents about the ‘five elements’ of nature and generate awareness about cell tower radiations, garbage management and air and water pollution.

In the wake of the recent tragedy in Uttarakhand, Commonfloor announced ‘Finding Hope a New Home’ initiative to provide financial assistance to build/rebuild homes and provide permanent shelter to the calamity-struck residents of Uttarakhand. The plan is to reach out to our user base of over 4 million monthly visitors and over 60,000 communities across the country appealing for monetary contributions that will then be used to rebuild homes or build new homes across the worst affected parts of the State. As part of this initiative, CommonFloor will work in tandem with SEEDS India, a leading non-profit organisation that seeks to protect the lives and livelihoods of people exposed to natural disasters.

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