CarDekho boosts engines as it aims to win online race

CarDekho.com, the flagship portal of software firm GirnarSoft, on Thursday, announced that it plans to expand its reach in the online auto space, with emphasis on hiring product development and technology personnel, besides forming larger offline sales and service teams to work with dealers.

The Jaipur-based company announced the closure of a second round of funding, raising (Series B) $50 million from Hillhouse Capital, Tybourne Capital and Sequoia Capital on Wednesday, which will be steered towards realising its ambitions."

“First, we embark on an aggressive marketing and branding strategy, reaching out to more users/customers through different media. Second, we are looking at doubling our existing workforce. Finally, we plan to acquiring small companies in our area of operations,” GirnarSoft COO and co-founder Anurag Jain said.

CarDekho.com, which employs around 850 staff at present, will be hiring around 800 more by end of this year.

Currently, CarDekho.com works with around 3,000 dealers, of which 1,800 are new car dealers and 1,200 are pre-owned dealers. The total dealer numbers on the site are expected to increase by 50 per cent. GirnarSoft CEO and co-founder Amit Jain explained the company’s revenue model.

“Apart from advertising, new dealers help us generate revenues through leads.
Pre-owned car dealers pay us subscription for displaying their inventory on our site. Car finance, insurance, and sale of accessories account for the rest of the revenues,” he said.

CarDekho.com boasts of around 15 million hits per month, a mix of both research visitors and car buyers, which is expected to grow by 80-100 per cent in the next couple of years. The company had received Series A funding of $15 million from Sequoia in November last year, and also went on to acquire competitor Gaadi.com. The latest funding values Girnar Software at $300 Million.

The online auto market is worth around Rs 150 crore at present, and is expected to grow to around Rs 1,000 crore in the next five years.

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