This past December, all of us missed something important. A funding event. A small company that has been around for a while, and one that has built its entire existence around automobiles, raised $110 million. Several investors participated. Sequoia, Hill House Capital, Google Capital and Axis Bank. The money that came in was no meagre sum. It represents a more than seven-fold increase from the company’s last significant fundraise—a comparatively tiny $15 million round in February 2016. With this latest round, the Jaipur-headquartered company has now raised $196.25 million, the second-highest amount in its industry.

If you haven’t already guessed, the company is CarDekho.

Its latest fundraise is no mean feat. It is the largest funding round in the online, everything to do with cars space since rival CarTrade’s massive $130 million Series E round in 2016. Its importance all the more pronounced because unlike in e-commerce, food delivery or cab aggregation, investors haven’t been smitten by cars. Some predict cars will die, maybe not on the internet but in the real world; they may have you believe that the future of consumerism is a future minus cars.

But for now though, in 2019, in India, a bunch of investors have bet big on cars by putting $110 million in CarDekho’s hands. Our story is about what follows next.

Because it is not like CarDekho has found a new way to sell cars on the internet. No. That’s not it. It is also not like in the time that CarDekho has been around, it has taken the market by storm and towers over other players. No. CarDekho isn’t top dog in the businesses it does. Allow me to skew the line further. If you asked someone on the street where they go to look up cars—both new and old—on the internet, there’s a good chance they wouldn’t say CarDekho or CarTrade or Droom. They’d probably say Google.

Which leaves us with one important question. What’s the $110 million in CarDekho for?

Tortoise

It would be fair to say that CarDekho hasn’t been the most aggressive player in the auto marketplace business so far. Founded by brothers Amit and Anurag Jain, it began in the garage of their house. The name of the company—Girnar Software—stems from the name of the house, Girnar.

CarDekho began life as a car comparison portal, trying to digitise the vast amount of information in the auto ecosystem to help people buy cars. Once the platform gained some initial traction, its next phase of growth came through acquisitions. In 2014, the company acquired online auto marketplace Gaadi from the Ibibo Group, helping it build capability in the used car space. The following year, it bought Times Internet-owned Zigwheels to fit in automobile content.

CarDekho has made eight acquisitions so far, and company president Umang Kumar says that all of them have helped the company grow.

AUTHOR

Vandana

Vandana is based in Delhi. She covers vertically focussed startups in consumer internet space and also writes on travel tech and smartphones for The Ken. She has spent 13 years in journalism covering a wide range of subjects- equity markets, mutual funds to education and skilling, working at organisations such as Business Standard, CNBC TV18 and The Week in the past.

View Full Profile

Available exclusively to subscribers of The Ken India

This story is a part of The Ken India edition. Subscribe. Questions?

MOST POPULAR

Annual Subscription

12-month access to 200+ stories, archive of 800+ stories from our India edition. Plus our premium newsletters, Beyond The First Order and The Nutgraf worth Rs. 99/month or $2/month each for free.

Rs. 2,750

Subscribe
 

Quarterly Subscription

3-month access to 60+ new stories with 3-months worth of archives from our India edition. Plus our premium newsletters, Beyond The First Order and The Nutgraf worth Rs. 99/month or $2/month each for free.

Rs. 1,750

Subscribe
 

Single Story

Instant access to this story for a year along with comment privileges.

Rs. 500

Subscribe
MOST POPULAR

Annual Subscription

12-month access to 150+ stories from Southeast Asia.

$ 120

Subscribe
 

Quarterly Subscription

3-month access to 35+ stories from Southeast Asia.

$ 50

Subscribe
 

Single Story

Instant access to this story for a year along with comment privileges.

$ 20

Subscribe

Questions?

What is The Ken?

The Ken is a subscription-only business journalism website and app that provides coverage across two editions - India and Southeast Asia.

What kind of stories do you write?

We publish sharp, original and reported stories on technology, business and healthcare. Our stories are forward-looking, analytical and directional — supported by data, visualisations and infographics.

We use language and narrative that is accessible to even lay readers. And we optimise for quality over quantity, every single time.

What do I get if I subscribe?

For subscribers of the India edition, we publish a new story every weekday, a premium daily newsletter, Beyond The First Order and a weekly newsletter - The Nutgraf.

For subscribers of the Southeast Asia edition, we publish a new story three days a week and a weekly newsletter, Strait Up.

The annual subscription will get you complete, exclusive access to our archive of previously published stories for your edition, along with access to our subscriber-only mobile apps, our premium comment sections, our newsletter archives and several other gifts and benefits.

Do I need to pay separately for your premium newsletters?

Nope. Paid, premium subscribers of The Ken get our newsletters delivered for free.

Does a subscription to the India edition grant me access to Southeast Asia stories? Or vice-versa?

Afraid not. Each edition is separate with its own subscription plan. The India edition publishes stories focused on India. The Southeast Asia edition is focused on Southeast Asia. We may occasionally cross-publish stories from one edition to the other.

Do you offer an all-access joint subscription for both editions?

Not yet. If you’d like to access both editions, you’ll have to purchase two subscriptions separately - one for India and the other for Southeast Asia.

Do you offer any discounts?

No. We have a zero discounts policy.

Is there a free trial I can opt for?

We don’t offer any trials, but you can sign up for a free account which will give you access to the weekly free story, our archive of free stories and summaries of the paid stories. You can stay on the free account as long as you’d like.

Do you offer refunds?

We allow you to sample our journalism for free before signing up, and after you do, we stand by its quality. But we do not offer refunds.

I am facing some trouble purchasing a subscription. What can I do?

Please write to us at [email protected] detailing the error or queries.