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Exclusive: Kalaari-backed used cars marketplace Truebil raises fresh capital

Exclusive: Kalaari-backed used cars marketplace Truebil raises fresh capital
Photo Credit: Shah Junaid/VCCircle

Mumbai-based online marketplace for pre-owned cars Truebil has raised close to $1 million (Rs 7.40 crore at current exchange rates) in a fresh round of funding, two persons directly in the know told TechCircle.

Paix Technology Pvt. Ltd, which operates Truebil, raised this sum from its existing investor Kalaari Capital, one of the people mentioned above said.

The three-year-old startup raised this round at an estimated valuation of around $17-20 million (Rs 134-148 crore), which was the same as its follow-on Series A round last year, the second person mentioned above added.

It is not clear whether this capital raise was the company’s bridge round or part of a larger funding round.

In February last year, the company secured $3 million (about Rs 20 crore) in a follow-on Series A funding round from China-based venture capital fund Shunwei Capital.

In January 2016, it raised $5.5 million (Rs35 Crore) in a Series A round led by Kalaari Capital, Inventus Capital, Kae Capital and San Francisco-based Tekton Ventures.

E-mail queries sent to Suraj Kalwani, Ravi Chirania, Shubh Bansal, Rakesh Raman and Shanu Vivek, the co-founders of the venture, seeking more information on this round, did not elicit a response at the time of publishing this report.

Truebil

The company was founded in March 2015 by former Housing.com employees Kalwani, Chirania, Bansal, Raman and Vivek, along with former Fab.com executive Ritesh Pandey and former Rio Tinto official Himanshu Singhal.

Truebil operates an online portal that offers end-to-end services for the sale of pre-owned cars including affordable car loans, paper transfer, warranty servicing, emergency roadside assistance and insurance renewal.

It vets used cars, prepares inspection reports and uploads photographs of dents or scratches so that buyers can shortlist their preferred choice for purchase.

According to information available on its website, Truebil has tied up with Tata Capital and other lenders to ensure easy financing of pre-owned cars in the form of affordable equated monthly instalments. Besides, it provides comprehensive car insurance with zero depreciation for pre-owned vehicles.

The company currently operates in Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru.

In the financial year 2016-17, Truebil’s operational revenues grew manifold to Rs 5.63 crore, up from Rs 7.66 lakh in the previous year, according to data available with VCCEdge, the data and research platform of News Corp VCCircle.

Likewise, gross expenses also showed a more than a three-fold rise at Rs 16.32 crore, up from Rs 4.95 crore in the previous year. Consequently, net losses widened to Rs 9.32 crore versus Rs 4.75 crore in the year prior.

Deals in the space

The used cars segment in India has other significantly funded firms like vertical players Cars24, CarTrade and CarDekho and horizontal players like Droom.

Earlier this month, Droom, an online marketplace for new and used vehicles, closed its Series E funding round at $30 million (Rs 220 crore).

In July, Gurugram-based online portal Cars24, which buys automobiles from individuals and sells them to businesses, raised $50 million (Rs 343 crore) from Sequoia Capital and existing investors.

In March this year, reports stated that Sequoia had invested around $2.5 million in CarDekho’s parent, Girnar Software Pvt. Ltd, as part of a larger Series B round. According to information available on VCCEdge, the company has raised a total of over $96 million in funding till date.

In February, multi-brand used car seller Mahindra First Choice Wheels Ltd secured $15 million (Rs 95.8 crore) from its existing investors, US-based digital marketing company Cox Automotive, private equity firm Phi Advisors and US-based hedge fund Valiant Capital.

In January, MXC Solutions India Pvt. Ltd, the operator of CarTrade.com and CarWale.com, acquired Shriram Group’s unit that sells used trucks, buses and other vehicles, for Rs 156.4 crore ($24.5 million).

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