Leading online auto classifieds platform CarTrade has raised Rs 950 crores led by Temasek, an investment company based in Singapore, and March Capital a global venture investment firm. CarTrade was founded by Vinay Sanghi in 2009.
Existing investor Warburg Pincus, an international private equity firm, also participated in this round. In October 2014, CarTrade had raised $30 million from Warburg Pincus, Tiger Global, and Canaan Partners in 2014. Other existing investors also include JP Morgan and Epiphany ventures. In November 2015, CarTrade and Carwale had announced a merger, with the latter's investor Axel Springer exiting from the company.
Recommended read from November 2015: Consolidation picks up in automobile classifieds, CarWale confirms merger with CarTrade
CarTrade.com and CarWale help consumers buy and sell new and used cars. The offerings on their site include features such as used car price information and condition check of those cars. For new car buyers, there are features such as reviews, on-road prices, car comparisons and latest news.
The combined entity claims to have over 32 million visits per month, working with approximately 10,000 new and used car dealer partners. The platform estimated that it lists more than 225,000 used cars for sale and auctions over 250,000 vehicles to the wholesale market every year. Vinay, Founder and CEO, CarTrade said,
This investment is a validation of CarTrade’s business model and growth plans in the Indian online auto space. The funds raised shall be used to further expand our services organically and through acquisitions. We will continue to focus on products, services and strengthening our technology capabilities and platforms, to deliver a seamless online experience for auto enthusiasts across the country.
This injection of capital will be utilised to diversify and strengthen CarTrade’s offerings for consumers and dealers.
Sumant Mandal, MD, March Capital said, "We believe that the greatest companies of tomorrow are being built now. CarTrade has developed a unique and a world class platform for transacting in new and used vehicles. It has steadily expanded its offerings across India and today has a strong network dealer partners with a rapidly growing user base. We look forward to working closely with the team to support the company in achieving its growth ambitions.”
Globally, there are many multi-billion dollar companies in USA, China, Australia that work as auto classified web portals. BRIC markets will dominate the global car market in 2020, states a recent KPMG report.
In India, CarTrade.com directly competes with players Gaadi.com, CarDekho, ZigWheels, Oncars.in and MotorTrends.in. Some interesting startups in the second hand or used vehicle space are SAIF partners backed Zoomo (which recently layed off 130 employees), Eight Roads backed CredR and Lightbox backed Droom. Classifieds sites like OLX and Quikr are also indirect competitors as they have auto sections.
Recommended read from Februray 2015: One hell of a ride: More than $100 million poured into India’s auto classifieds space
Talking about the sector, Mohit Dubey, CEO, CarWale added,
These are exciting times for us as the e-commerce sector is at a broad confluence of multiple macro trends. We are very excited about the opportunities presented by sector in India and are well positioned to leverage these opportunities.
India is set to grow at 7.8 percent in FY16-17, and 7.9 percent in the next two years, The World Bank recently projected. So with greater purchasing power, more and more Indians will be looking to buy used and first hand vehicles. This Rs 950 crore investment will help CarTrade further enhance their offerings and also give them the firepower for marketing and other user acquisition activities. CarTrade needs to do this soon as other well-funded companies are getting aggressive. Quikr, for instance, is now following a vertical approach and has launched Quikr Cars. As Indians get comfortable shopping for high-value goods like cars online, CarTrade and others will be jostling to become the platform of choice.
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