Girnar Software, owner of auto portals CarDekho.com and Gaadi.com, and Times Internet Limited today announced the acquisition of auto portal, ZigWheels.com, for an undisclosed amount. Consequently, Times Internet is now an investor in Girnar Software, alongside Sequoia Capital, Hillhouse, Tybourne, Ratan Tata, and HDFC Bank. ZigWheels started in 2007 with Vijesh Sharma handling product and consumer experience, and is currently being overseen by Akhil Gupta.
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Founded in March 2008 by brothers Amit and Anurag Jain, CarDekho currently claims to be drawing close to 17 million and 10 million visitors and unique visitors per month, respectively. In September 2014, it acquired the Nasper group-owned Gaadi.com to strengthen its management team and gain a foothold in the used car segment. The company also acquired Buying IQ, a comparative shopping portal in 2015.
The group company was valued at Rs. 250 crores when it picked up its first round of funding from Sequoia Capital in 2013. They then concluded their Series B funding in January 2015, picking up Rs. 300+ crores with two Hong Kong-based investors besides existing investor Sequoia. They also announced that Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus of the Tata Sons conglomerate had invested in the company and agreed to advise them as and when required. Girnar Software is now valued at Rs. 1800+ crores.
The group claims to have more than 5,000 new and used car dealer tie-ups across the country. The core business model of Girnar Software is earnings from lead generation for new and used cars, media sales on their portals, as well as monetising the lifecycle of a car owner through their CarBuddy app.
Globally, there are many multi-billion dollar companies in USA, China, and Australia etc that work as auto classified web portals. According to a KPMG report, BRIC markets will dominate the global car market in 2020. Some of the big players in this segment include CarWale, which raised its Series A round of funding with Sierra Ventures and was then acquired by Axel Springer AG and India Today Group. Then there is MotorExchange founded by Vinay Sanghi and Rajan Mehra which owns cartrade.com. In October 2014, it raised $30 million from Warburg Pincus, Tiger Global, and Canaan Partners.
In June 2015, Truebil had raised $500K funding from Kae Capital and Anupam Mittal. In July 2015, Zoomo raised $5M series A round from SAIF Partners for their used cars marketplace. Others in this sector include Cartrade, Sandeep Aggarwal-led automobile-focused classifieds, Droom and horizontal classifieds majors, OLX and Quickr, which also have automobile section.
Related read from February 2015: One hell of a ride: More than $100 million poured into India’s auto classifieds space
Girnar Software Group claims to get 30 million monthly visitors through combined traffic from all its automotive properties -- CarDekho.com, Gaadi.com, ZigWheels.com, BikeDekho.com, and TyreDekho.com. They aim to consolidate their position as a leading automotive destination for consumers, dealers, OEMs, and other industry stakeholders.
ZigWheels.com which currently consists of a team of 50 across technology, product, and content will operate independently as a separate business within the Girnar Software umbrella. They aim to exploit cross-synergies with other platforms and resources. Girnar Software is also expanding aggressively across SE Asia, Africa, Middle East, and South America to create the largest such business across emerging markets. According to Amit Jain, Founder and CEO of Girnar Software, “Having been a part of India’s leading media group, ZigWheels.com comes with a strong content pedigree. This strategic acquisition reinforces our commitment to further enrich our content to enable us to engage even more deeply with our consumers. This also takes our market leadership to the next level in the digital auto vertical across visitors, dealer base, and revenues.”