CarDekho - Auto Marketplace
Founded in 2008, CarDekho is India's leading auto-tech company and Rajhasthan's first unicorn.
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Founded in 2008, Rajasthan-headquartered CarDekho is a search and e-commerce platform that allows users to review, compare, buy and sell new and pre-owned cars.
In 2021, the company became Rajasthan’s 1st unicorn after raising $250M, $200M in equity, and $50M in debt in a Series E funding round and is now valued at $1.2B. The company is backed by notable investors like Hillhouse Capital, Tybourne Capital, Sequoia Capital, HDFC Bank, Ratan Tata, Trifecta, and Times Internet.
It offers a catalog of more than 3,000 certified pre-owned cars from 4,000 used car dealers, traders, and entrepreneurs. In 2021, CarDekho announced its plans of going public in the next 18 months and expanding to 12 more tier-2 and tier-3 cities of India.
Business Overview & Products
CarDekho’s website and app offer automotive content to its users which includes, pictures and videos of the extensive range of car brands and models available in India, Detailed specs and prices of these cars, expert reviews as well as a detailed comparison of cars. Offerings on the website include options for:
News and reviews
Besides functioning as a marketplace for cars, CarDekho has other ventures that support their primary venture of being a marketplace for all types of cars.
CarDekho Gaadi store: An offline showroom for cars.
Term life insurance
Loan against cars
CarDekho operates in India, Indonesia, and the Philippines and its products are used in more than 30 countries globally.
How It Works
Customers can browse through numerous lists in the new car’s option. They can also see options for service centers and different schemes that offer them discounts & deals.
For the used car option, customers can browse through offerings, find dealerships that offer used cars, offer loans and valuations on used cars amongst other options. The platform offers both the option to buy cars as well as sell cars.
Additional features include a car comparison feature, road test videos, user reviews, EMI calculator as well as car loans to ensure that it’s a one-stop-shop platform for car dealings.
Business Model & Pricing
CarDekho has multiple revenue streams, the most important one being lead generation for dealers. Customers after choosing a car of their choice, are given multiple options of car dealers nearest to their location. The customers can then select and contact a dealer of their choice. The company charges dealers money for generating leads for them and also provides lead management solutions by following up on the leads themselves and helping them close the deal.
Moreover, it also collects money from car manufacturers in return for running its product advertisements on its website and applications. TrustMark certification, a used car certification, and warranty program act as a major source of revenue for the company, so do commissions that it earns by its partnerships with car loans and insurance providers.
In 2020, the company reported a 25% growth in revenues, from $92M in 2020 to $114M in 2021. In 2021, it had a $100M revenue run rate and became the first unicorn of Rajasthan and 3rd unicorn in the used car retailing space by raising $250M, $200M in equity, and $50M in debt in a Series E funding round. The company was reported to have 51 million unique users as of September 2020 and its app had been downloaded more than 10 million times.
Founder(s) & Team
Amit Jain: CEO and Co-Founder at CarDekho. Amit, an IIT graduate previously co-founded GirnarSoft, a business value-based IT solutions, and services company. He also worked as Product Manager at Trilogy and as Software Engineer at Tata Consultancy Services.
Anurag Jain: COO and Co-Founder at CarDekho. Anurag, an IITian previously co-founded GirnarSoft. He also worked as Senior Systems Consultant at i2 Technologies and as Seniors Operations Research Analyst at Sabre Holdings.
History & Evolution
Two graduates from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Anurag Jain and Amit Jain, launched an IT outsourcing company called GirnarSoft after leaving their jobs and coming back to their hometown. They started emailing and calling billions of clients to get them on board. Once they started gaining traction, they hired a team, accumulated funds, and started CarDekho.
CarDekho, a car search platform was launched in 2008 to digitize the auto ecosystem. Its main goal was to assist buyers of new cars and used cars to make informed buying decisions. It did so by offering a variety of support such as research tools, expert reviews, user reviews, on-road prices, pictures and dealers to help make the decision.
In 2010, Comscore, the world leader in online audience measurement, ranked CarDekho as the No.1 Auto portal with 745,000 unique visitors for the month of June.
In 2014, CarDekho acquired Gaadi.com, one of India’s leading auto portals, and became the market leader of the automobile industry and helped them evolve in the pre-owned car market. That year it had a collective volume of 15 million visitors monthly. The company ventured into the world of television advertisements and as a result, its revenue grew 3x and unique visitors on site doubled as well.
In 2015, CarDekho acquired ZigWheels, an automotive and motorcycling website, and BuyingIQ.com, an intelligent shopping engine. The company also launched CarBay.my in Malaysia and Thailand, both websites feature the products that established clear leadership for CarDekho.com in India.
In 2016, CarDekho acquired Help On Wheels, a roadside assistance firm.
In 2017, CarDekho partnered with Hero FinCorp to provide financing options to its used car buyers. It also created an in-house VR app that provided customers with virtual guided tours of commercial vehicles, test drives, and access to a lifelike experience like that in a showroom.
In 2018, CarDekho acqui-hired used cars platform Carbiqi and ventured into the auction model.
In 2020, CarDekho witnessed a surge in customer traffic on both its website and apps. The brand moved from 13 million unique users to 15 million unique users within the span of one month. This was courtesy of their pandemic strategies, like providing health insurance to dealers and introducing home inspections to limit customers’ visits to the store.
In 2021, CarDekho became Rajhastan’s first and India’s third unicorn in the used-cars auto space after raising $250M in a Series E funding round, raising its total valuation to $1.2B. It also moved towards a home inspection model, where the company will purchase cars only after a home inspection keeping in mind the coronavirus crisis.
The industry received $30.51B worth of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) between 2000 to 2021.
CarDekho’s unique features are what make it stand out from its competitors. The company’s website allows users to search cars by price, manufacturer name, and the model number of features. It also lets them compare four cars side by side, giving consumers a clear idea of the pros and cons of each car. Users can see how a car looks from inside and outside with the help of videos, snapshots, and a 360-degree mode where you can zoom in for a closer look. One user favorite feature is also the TrustMark certification for used cars that pass the 217-point inspection by CarDekho’s technical team. These checkpoints include the car’s steering, transmission, interiors, tires, suspension, and engine. The platform empowers users to buy used cars without the fear of being scammed.
Suggested starting points to dive deeper
How CarDekho is zooming ahead amid Covid2019 pandemic (Dolly Mahayan, Indian Television, Nov ‘21)
CarDekho is eyeing a public listing in the next 18 months: CEO Jain (Tarush Bhalla, Live Mint, Oct ‘21)
Exclusive: CarDekho shuts down over 20 stores amid move to home inspection model (Soumyarendra Barik, EN Tracker, Sept ‘21)
Amit Jain, 40, Anurag Jain, 38, Co-Founders, Cardekho - Open The Magazine (Amita Shah, Open The Magazine, Oct ‘17)
Making sustainable automobile classifieds product from Jaipur: CarDekho's story (Jai Vardhan, Your Story, Dec ‘15)