CarDekho parent Girnar Software to raise $100 mn from Sequoia: Report

CarDekho parent Girnar Software to raise $100 mn from Sequoia: Report
5 Dec, 2018

Girnar Software Pvt. Ltd, which owns auto portal CarDekho.com, is in the process of raising $100 million (around Rs 700 crore at current exchange rates) in a fresh round of funding led by venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, according to a media report.

The latest investment will value the Jaipur-based firm at $400-500 million, The Economic Times reported, citing people it did not name. Existing investor Hillhouse Capital is also expected to participate in the round.

CarDekho is primarily an online marketplace for users to buy and sell used and new cars.

Girnar Software, founded in 2007 by siblings Amit Jain and Anurag Jain, also owns the BikeDekho.com, Gaadi.com and TyreDekho.com portals besides online shopping adviser BuyingIQ.com.

Email queries sent to CarDekho’s founders did not elicit a response till the time of publishing this report. Sequoia Capital declined to comment on the development.

CarDekho was one of Sequoia’s early bets in India from its global growth fund. Although its last officially-announced fundraise took place in 2016, there have been several media reports of CarDekho raising money since.

In October this year, digital media publication Entrackr reported that CarDekho had raised $75 million in a Series C round of funding. In March, media reports stated that Sequoia Capital had invested around $2.5 million as part of a larger Series B round in CarDekho.

In March 2016, Girnar Software secured an undisclosed amount of investment from Google Capital as part of its extended Series B funding round.

In January 2015, it had raised $50 million in the first tranche of its Series B funding round led by Hillhouse Capital, with participation from Sequoia Capital and Tybourne Capital. 

According to information available with VCCEdge, the data research platform of News Corp VCCircle, Girnar Software has raised a little over $96 million in funding till date.

The company has struck several acquisitions to expand its business. Its most recent purchase was late last month when it acqui-hired used cars platform Carbiqi to foray into the auction model, which allows CarDekho to buy cars from consumers. Dealers will subsequently bid for the inventory in a competitive process.

CarDekho's local rival Cars24 also follows a similar model. Its other direct competitors are CarTrade and CarWale, which have merged, Droom and horizontal classifieds players like OLX and Quikr.

In August, it acquired automotive content YouTube channel PowerDrift.  

The firm bought Zigwheels.com from Times Internet in September 2015 and acquired Naspers Group-owned Gaadi.com in 2014.

Its other acquisitions include Drishya360s (virtual reality), Volob Technologies (AR-VR focused visual communications), Connecto (SaaS startup), Help on Wheels (roadside assistance), Valueserve Management Consultants Pvt. Ltd (consulting firm) and Advanced Structures India (car testing and benchmarking firm).

Financials and competition

Girnar Software recorded 40% growth in revenue and narrowed loss for the financial year ended March 2018. In an email to TechCircle, the company said consolidated net sales grew to Rs 160 crore for 2017-18, up from Rs 114 crore the year before.

Its net loss shrank to Rs 70 crore from Rs 136 crore. Girnar said it was recording a cash burn of Rs 3.5 crore a month. The company said 80% revenue comes from the new-car segment and the remaining from used cars.

The company also said that it now facilitates about 5,000 insurance policies a month and has recorded total premium of Rs 100 crore till date. It said it is disbursing over Rs 60 crore a month for vehicle financing and claimed it has disbursed loans of over Rs 1,000 crore till date. The firm started financing and insurance services in May last year.