CarDekho is an auto classifieds portal started from Jaipur back in 2007. It is the flagship portal of GirnarSoft which has just announced a fund raise of $50 million in a new round of funding led by Chinese funds Hillhouse Capital and Tybourne Capital with post-money valuation of about $300 million (source). Elara Capital acted as the exclusive financial advisor to the transaction. The funding will be used for brand building and marketing.
Hillhouse Capital is a $18 billion fundamental equities investment firm that was founded by Lei Zhang in 2005. This particular investment in GirnarSoft was led by David Rhee who leads international investments for the firm and will join Girnar Software’s board. And Tybourne Capital is a high profile Asia focused hedge funds that manages $3 billion in assets. The fund is led by Eashwar Krishnan and has a special focus on technology, media and internet companies.
This is another example of global hedge funds showing interest in the emerging Indian consumer internet sector. CarDekho is a product which was built within GirnarSoft which was started by Amit Jain and Anurag Jain. The company was bootstrapped untill Sequoia put in $15 million in 2013 (read the complete story). Talking about the investment, Amit said,
This is the largest quantum of fund raise in this segment in India so far. We see the second round of investment as an endorsement of our strategy and progress so far. Our revenues have grown three-fold since 2013 when we received our first round of funding from Sequoia, and we are doubling our lead generation Y-O-Y. This is the time we are looking to rapidly expand our business and therefore the funding adds to our fast paced growth in the online auto portal segment.
The company has about 1,800 used car dealers, and has tied up with about eight auto manufacturers and the company claims to receive 11 million page views per month. CarDekho has had an impressive journey where the initial revenue came in from ads but slowly evolved to a more wholesome revenue model where the company has an on-ground team and works with car manufacturers and dealers. CarDekho is involved throughout the process till a car is sold. (see detailed story).
CarDekho has competition from CarTrade.com and CarWale.com which are backed by Tiger Global and Warburg Pincus. OLX and Quikr are multi category classifieds but they also are competition when it comes to auto.
Carwale.com has a global rank of 2300 and India rank of 167 while Cartrade.com has a global rank of 6208 and India rank of 551 at the time of writing this). This infusion of funds in CarDekho probably signals towards an increasing push in the auto classifieds area. Stay tuned for updates here!