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Times Internet joins Sequoia, Ratan Tata as CarDekho investor post Zigwheels deal

The Zigwheels deal is CarDekho’s third acquisition in the last one year

The Zigwheels deal is CarDekho’s third acquisition in the last one year

Times Internet Ltd (TIL) has become the newest investor in Jaipur-based Girnar Software Pvt Ltd, which runs auto portals CarDekho.com and Gaadi.com besides product discovery engine Pricedekho.com.

The investment is part of a transaction in which Times Internet sold auto portal Zigwheelsto Girnar for an undisclosed amount, Girnar said in a press statement.

Times Internet joins Sequoia Capital, Hillhouse Capital, Tybourne Capital, Ratan Tata and HDFC Bank as shareholders in Girnar.

Techcircle.in had reported last month that CarDekho is to buy Times Internet’s Zigwheels.com. The transaction was concluded recently.

Zigwheels.com will operate independently as a separate business within the Girnar Software umbrella while leveraging the group’s other platforms such as CarDekho.com, Gaadi.com, Zigwheels.com, BikeDekho.com and TyreDekho.com.  The six online portals collectively clock 30 million unique visitors every month, Girnar claims.

The Zigwheels deal 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, it bought Delhi-based cross-product price comparison portal BuyingIQ.com for an undisclosed amount.

In January, CarDekho 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. In February, Tata Sons chairman emeritus Ratan Tata invested an undisclosed sum in CarDekho’s parent.

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.

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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