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CarDekho owner Girnar Software closes Series A of $15M from Sequoia Capital, looking to enter emerging markets

27 November, 2013

Multi-vertical consumer internet company Girnar Software has raised $15 million in a Series A round from Sequoia Capital. The company owns and operates three portals Bikedekho.com, CarDekho.com and Pricedekho.com. Earlier this month Techcircle.in reported that the deal was in the final stage. Shailesh Lakhani from Sequoia has joined the board at Girnar Software.

The company was founded by sibling duo Amit and Anurag Jain around five years ago. Talking to Techcircle.in, Amit said that with this capital the firm would be looking to expand operations. “We would aim to strengthen our presence at every level. We are also looking at launching mobile platform for dealers,” he stated with reference to CarDekho, the firm’s flagship product. He said the portal would look at expansion into emerging markets.

CarDekho is a 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. Local consumers can also list their used cars on the portal for free or opt for a premium listing. Apart from these, the site use advertisements as a means to generate revenues. This way the site follows a multiple-revenue model. “Recently we have directly tied up with manufacturers as well. We pass on leads to manufacturers. We charge them only when the automobile is purchased,” Amit said.

On CarDekho, the company is selling around 2,500 cars a month and aims to take the number to 4,500-5,000 by the end of this financial year. Bikedekho follows a similar model. Amit said it’s still in the nascent stage and is mainly focused on advertising revenues.

For Pricedekho, the price comparison and product discovery engine is getting around 2.5 million users a month, according to Anurag. Currently Pricedekho covers categories like mobiles, cameras, laptops, electronics, mobile accessories, home appliances and baby products.

Anurag said with the capital the firm would focus on expanding the product catalogue and enhance the coupons and deals aggregator that is already live in beta. The firm would also look at ensuring an offline presence and venturing into the international market in the long term.

Pricedekho follows multiple revenue models; apart from advertising, it earns revenue by various packages it offers to the vendors listing on the portal. “It’s more of an affiliate marketing platform for vendors. We have more than 25 vendors on board and have generated 4 lakh leads for our vendors so far,” Anurag said.

While CarDekho offers a complete one-stop shop for all information needed before purchasing an automobile as well as dealers’ contacts, Pricedekho is available on all platforms and offers a broader reach, the founder duo said. Amit said the firm would not look at launching new verticals immediately. “We have managed to grow 100 per cent year on year every year; our main focus is to sustain this growth,” Amit said.

The company’s headquarters is in Jaipur, the native place of the founders, which also makes it one of the few startups that have headquarters outside any metro cities. “Being in a city like Jaipur has made it easy to keep the costs under control. The only challenge is hiring the right talent but in that we have been lucky so far,” he said. The company has a team of over 500 employees and is looking to expand the team in a few months.

“As most consumers begin their search for a new or used car online, Amit and Anurag have built the ideal product to help them research, compare, and begin a purchase transaction. We are delighted to partner with them to scale their business to new heights,” said Lakhani of Sequoia Capital. Elara Capital was the financial advisor for the deal.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)


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CarDekho owner Girnar Software closes Series A of $15M from Sequoia Capital, looking to enter emerging markets

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