Pre-owned luxury car startup Finelistings raises funds from Justdial Co-Founder
While the majority of the market is still inclined towards affordable cars, the luxury car segment in India has seen an increasing and steady growth only in the last two decades. Almost all high-end international car brands are now regularly seen on Indian roads. In fact, the real growth in this segment is now moving from large metros to tier 2 and tier 3 towns. Increased consumption of luxury cars over the last two decades has led to the creation of a healthy demand for pre-owned luxury cars as well, as availability has increased. Some other factors have contributed to substantial growth of the used luxury car segment. These include rising aspirations, quicker launch of newer models, availability of low-interest finance and the desire to own a better ‘brand’.
As lucrative as it is to buy a used car at a great price, a large number of buyers end up with bitter experiences, as the market is still very unorganised. As a result, the used car space in recent times has been one of the most observed startup spaces in India. Car buying and selling is a complicated process. Buyers and sellers of used luxury cars, in particular, have special needs and require different handling, as per– a new startup that aims to carve a niche for itself in India's used car market. Focusing on used luxury cars, Finelistings plans to provide a unique, smooth and personalised experience to both buyers as well as sellers of used luxury cars.
In the fast lane - Starting with Instagram and growing big
Childhood friends Arjun Singh Rajput and Aneesh Mathur started Finelistings with an Instagram page. They were pleasantly surprised by the great response to the high-quality listings they started uploading on Instagram. One client even flew down from Bangalore to Delhi to view the car of his choice. Realising the potential, they soon grew to a full-fledged online marketplace for used luxury cars and launched finelistings.com.
The founders have varied experiences of working with auto-magazines, websites and leading tech companies. They bring a professional touch to the space to ensure availability of high-quality pictures and relevant, transparent data about each car to the potential buyers, an element that the segment was lacking so far. The company was formally incorporated in March 2018. It has already sold cars worth Rs 40 crore across 15 cities through their digital platform. In October 2020, Finelistings opened its first physical store at Ambience Mall in New Delhi.
"Simple, ethical business practices can revolutionise the used car business in India which is now in desperate need of the 3 Ts – Trust, Transparency and Technology," says Arjun Singh Rajput, Co-founder, Finelistings.
JustdialCo-Founder V Krishnan reposes his faith
V Krishnan, Co-founder of JustDial, who has mentored the company since its inception, is happy with the startup’s rapid progress. He recently invested an undisclosed amount in Finelistings, based on a current valuation of Rs. 7.5 crore ($ 1 million).
The funds will be used to create a strong tech foundation, expand their service vertical and strengthen the inspection process to further make the process for buying used luxury cars in India a smooth experience. They will also utilise the funds to launch two sub-brands, i.e. Finelistings Assure – in-house engine, transmission and mechanical warranty on used luxury cars for up to 1 year, and Finelistings Select – handpicked highest quality used luxury cars.
The road ahead
Recognised by Economic Times among the Top 20 startups of North India, Finelistings now plans to replicate its success in other parts of North India in the next two years and span to other cities in India. Their online presence will be complemented with more physical stores. An AI-enabled app for both iOS and Android is also on the way, which will help end users generate a physical report of their car without human intervention, as well as provide assistance to evaluate and list the car online.
"The vision is to become India’s most favoured marketplace for the multi-brand luxury car segment. The luxury automotive demand is going to be massive in the next five years. Expanding and scaling up is a challenging, yet exciting opportunity," says Aneesh Mathur, Co-founder, Finelistings.