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Google Capital invests in auto classifieds portal Cardekho

Livemint:  March 22, 2016

New Delhi: Girnar Software Pvt. Ltd, which operates auto classifieds portal Cardekho, on Monday said that it has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Google Capital, a late-stage growth venture capital firm with participation from existing investor Hillhouse Capital.

The company will use the fund to enhance technology, research and development and overall geographical expansion.

In January 2015, the Jaipur-based company raised $50 million in a round from Hillhouse, Tybourne and Sequoia Capital. It was valued at $300 million then. Further rounds of funding were raised from Ratan Tata and HDFC Bank Ltd.

GirnarSoft expanded to global markets in 2015 with the launch of auto portal CarBay.com in multiple countries across Asia and Middle East.

The company was founded by brothers Anurag and Amit Jain in 2008. It provides information about new and old cars, connects customers to auto dealers and acts as a platform to purchase and sell used cars.

Off-late it has been on an acquisition spree and went on to acquire four start-ups, including Drishya360s and Software Pvt. Ltd, to develop virtual reality solutions for its websites in December 2015. The rest three acquisitions were of Gaadi.com, Zigwheels.com, and BuyingIQ during 2014 and 2015.

“The team is led by savvy entrepreneurs with a strong product orientation, who have positioned the company perfectly in a rapidly growing market,” said David Lawee, partner, Google Capital.

The Rainmaker Group was the financial advisor to Girnar Software for this transaction.

A Deloitte report released in February estimates the used car market to be the same size as the new car market currently. It adds that 67% of used car customers are in the age group of 26-35 years, highlighting that first-time buyers are increasingly opting for pre-owned cars largely due to their preference for bigger vehicles at the price of an entry-level car.

CarDekho competes with Cartrade, which is run by MXC solutions Pvt. Ltd. It last raised $145 million from Singapore state investment firm Temasek Holdings, US-based March Capital and existing investor Warburg Pincus in January.

Other start-ups in the space include Droom Technology Pvt. Ltd that raised $16 million in a round led by Lightbox in July and Truebil (Paix Technology Pvt. Ltd) that raised $500,000 in its first funding round from KAE Capital in June last year.

Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.