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CarDekho buys Times Internet’s Zigwheels

Zigwheels has an estimated 8 million monthly visits

Zigwheels has an estimated 8 million monthly visits

Jaipur-based Girnar Software Pvt Ltd, the company behind auto portal CarDekho and BikeDekho besides and price comparison and product discovery engine PriceDekho, has acquired auto portal Zigwheels for an undisclosed amount.

“As a consumer portal, we have made a huge commitment to creation of great auto and bikes content. Zigwheels acquisition is a strategic step for us to enhance our content to be richer so that we engage deeply with car and bike buyers,” Amit Jain, founder & CEO of CarDekho, said in an email to Techcircle.in.

Owned by Times Internet, Zigwheels is an online platform that enables buying and selling of cars or bikes in addition to providing information on car loans, insurance and reviews.

Jain said Zigwheels will work as an independent entity within the group.

According to The Times of India which first reported the development, Zigwheels recorded an estimated monthly visits of 8 million while CarDekho saw around 25 million monthly visits along with Gaadi.com.

This is CarDekho’s third acquisition in the last one year. Last year, the company had acquired Naspers Group-owned Gaadi.com, another automobile site, for an undisclosed sum. In April this year, it bought Delhi-based cross-product price comparison portal BuyingIQ.com for an undisclosed amount.

In January this year, the company had raised $50 million (around Rs 307 crore) from Chinese investment management firm Hillhouse Capital and Hong Kong-based hedge fund Tybourne Capital with participation from its existing investor Sequoia Capital. The investment was done at a $300 million post-money valuation.

CarDekho.com was founded by siblings Amit and Anurag Jain around seven years ago. It is an online marketplace for users to buy and sell used as well as new cars. For new cars, the portal offers content for research as well as dealers’ contact information. The site also offers information on car insurance and finance. For every buyer that goes to a dealer via CarDekho, the company earns a share. Similarly for the used car model, the firm charges dealers for displaying the inventory.

Other players operating in the online auto classifieds space include Sierra Ventures-backed Carwale, Cartrade, Autoindia.com, Carazoo.com and MotorExchange besides horizontal players like Quikr and Olx who have been strengthening their vertical play with separate verticals for key segments such as real estate, cars, electronics, jobs and education.

In July, Droom Technology Pvt. Ltd, which runs online marketplace for pre-owned automobiles Droom.in, raised Rs 100 crore ($16 million then) in Series A investment from venture capital firm Lightbox and Japanese e-commerce firm Beenos. Founded by Sandeep Aggarwal, founder and former CEO of ShopClues, Droom plans to venture into Southeast Asia and for expanding its Indian operations.

Last month media group NDTV Ltd, which has been building up its digital content and commerce ventures over the last two years, raised VC funding for its new e-commerce ventures in gadgets and car & bike. Inflexionpoint (co-founded by former Apple CEO John Scully), Pramod Bhasin (former CEO of Genpact), consumer-focused VC firm Sixth Sense Ventures, Vindi Banga (former chairman, Unilever India), Hiro Mashita (founder and director of M&S Partners) and other HNIs participated in the funding for the two separate ventures.

Fifth Gear Auto, a new auto portal that aims to elicit the attention of those who follow NDTV’s car and bike programming, is an attempt to add digital commerce within its existing auto related content site NDTV Auto. This unit raised funds at a valuation of close to $30 million.

Meanwhile, for Times Internet, part of the Times Group, this is a rare digital property sale. It has been buying small digital ventures over the past few years.

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