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Startup ‘bad boy’ Rahul Yadav’s second venture flops

Rahul Yadav, Co-founder, Housing.com

Chaitanya Gudipaty
moneycontrol.com

Rahul Yadav, considered by some as the bad boy of the Indian startup industry, is back in the news: his much-touted second coming, which was to set things right after the infamous Housing.com fiasco last year, has flattered to deceive.

Two days ago, Yadav, who started Intelligent Interfaces after quitting Housing, put up a Facebook post asking his 80,000-strong followers whether he should reorient his business model or go back into his first line of business: real estate.

The maverick startup founder started Intelligent Interfaces as a company that would provide data aggregation and visualization for the country’s government. At the time of its launch, he claimed the company would bring about change by helping improve governance processes.

The failure of Yadav’s latest venture raises more questions than answers, even as he put up another Facebook post explaining why the venture had failed to take off, at the same time taking aim at journalists — in his brash style — for apparently misreporting about it.

The news of his second coming, backed by Flipkart’s Bansals, Yuvraj Singh’s private-equity venture and reportedly Paytm’s Vijay Shekhar Sharma, created much buzz in the startup community, coming as it was soon after his dramatic exit at Housing.

At Housing, Yadav, an IIT alumni who dropped out in his last year of engineering because he got “bored”, made waves for creating a slick interface that would help ease buyers’ search for homes.

The company attracted multi-million dollar funding but the brash, outspoken founder soon got caught in ugly spats with his investors and the chief of a leading private equity firm as well as some media firms.

The turn of events at Housing sparked a flurry of passionate reactions in the startup space, with some viewing him as a mercurial genius while others criticized him for his cocky manners.

Soon after, he was fired by the board, but not before he compared himself to Marvel superhero Tony Stark (aka Iron Man), quoting his line from the Avengers.

What will Yadav do next? Only time will tell.