GirnarSoft, the parent company of India’s auto portals CarDekho, Gaadi, and Zigwheels, announced its acquisition of SaaS startup Connecto in a cash and stock deal. The acquisition, which is the sixth for the company in two years, is in line with its plans of improving user experience across all of its websites and apps.
The news comes just a week after the company announced a strategic investment in car testing firm Advanced Structures India, to leverage and improve its car search experience.
Launched in 2013, Connecto is essentially a device-agnostic tool, designed to be compatible across most common systems for product managers and marketers to communicate more efficiently with their customers. While helping target audiences better and increase engagement, the SaaS engine provides services like a notification engine, custom integrations and automatic user profile creator to a business’s platform.
This is the third acquisition for GirnarSoft in the last six months. In December, the company acqui-hired virtual reality startup Drishya360 to build virtual reality solutions and 360 views for its subsidiary platforms. It then acquired roadside assistance provider Help On Wheels in an all-cash deal, to set up and bolster its roadside assistance vertical.
On the Connecto acquisition, Amit Jain, Co-founder and CEO, GirnarSoft, said,
Being a tech-intensive company, we are always on the lookout for more hi-tech startups to augment our tech expertise. Connecto will help us create user profiles by tracking user behaviour in real time. These user segments can then be interacted within a personalised manner via web notifications, specific emails, in-app notifications and chrome notifications.
GirnarSoft was also reported to have received a fresh round of investment of $15 million last month from Google Capital with participation from existing investor Hillhouse Capital. The funding was raised to boost CarDekho’s R&D, while aiming expansion in geographies outside India.
Last year, GirnarSoft’s CarDekho went international through CarBay, setting foot in Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines and Indonesia.
Publications also reported that this GirnarSoft subsidiary had let go of more than 200 employees, without any prior notice. The number was later updated to 60.
GirnarSoft as an entity holds other digital properties such as BikeDekho and PriceDekho with other specialised products like TyreDekho and TrucksDekho. Zigwheels, Gaadi and BuyingIQ have been the most recent acquisitions for GirnarSoft.
The auto classified market is not new to India. CarDekho and CarTrade have been the first in the market, since 2008 and 2009 respectively.
According to CarDekho, the site lists around 1,400 dealers of new cars and more than 3,000 dealers of used cars, and receives around 10 million hits a month. CarDekho’s competition Cartrade had snapped up a massive $145 million from Temasek, March Capital and from existing investor Warburg Pincus last month.
Acquisitions in this space aren't new, with CarWale merging with CarTrade in November 2015.
The Quikr group also turned up the heat in August last year by launching Quikr cars.