Ratan Tata backs auto classifieds portal CarDekho.com
Ratan Tata, former chief of Tata Group and currently chairman emeritus of group's holding company Tata Sons, has invested an undisclosed amount in Jaipur-based Girnar Software Pvt Ltd, the company behind auto portal CarDekho.com, it said in a press statement.
The investment comes a couple of months after the business honcho made investments in online furniture store Urban Ladder, e-commerce major Snapdeal.com and online jewellery retailer BlueStone.com.
Amit Jain, CEO and co-founder, GirnarSoft, said: "In addition to marketing and hiring activities, there are a few smaller acquisitions in the pipeline for us to enhance our business operations."
Last month, 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. The round also saw participation from existing investor Sequoia Capital.
CarDekho 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 fee. Similarly for the used car model, the firm charges dealers for displaying the inventory.
Local consumers can also list their used cars on the portal for free or opt for a premium listing. Apart from these, the site uses advertisements as a means to generate revenues. This way the site follows a multiple-revenue model. The firm has also partnered with car manufacturers. It passes on leads to manufacturers and charges them only when the automobile is purchased.
In November 2013, Girnar raised $15 million in its Series A round of funding from Sequoia Capital. The firm also runs BikeDekho.com and price comparison and product discovery engine PriceDekho.com.
Last year, the company had acquired Naspers Group-owned Gaadi.com, another automobile site, for an undisclosed sum.
Other players operating in the online auto classifieds space include Times Internet's Zigwheels, Sierra Ventures-backed Carwale, Autoindia.com, Carazoo.com and MotorExchange.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)