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Cars24 Services Pvt. Ltd on Tuesday said it has raised $200 million (Rs 1,480.9 crore) as part of its Series E funding round that has catapulted the marketplace for used cars to the famed unicorn club that features startups with a valuation of at least $1 billion.

The funding round was led by DST Global and the capital was raised at a valuation of over $1 billion, said Cars24 in a statement.

DST Global, which is also a backer of other Indian unicorns Byju's and Udaan, was floated by Russian-Israeli billionaire Yuri Milner.

The statement added that other existing investors of Cars24 including Exor Seeds, Moore Strategic Ventures and Unbound also participated in this funding round.

Cars24 will use the funds to strengthen its technology and product innovation and scale new business verticals, it said.

Rahul Mehta, managing partner at DST Global, said that Cars24 has deeply leveraged data and technology at each step, resulting in world-class operational efficiency and market leadership in the segment.

Cars24, which was founded in 2015 by Vikram Chopra and Mehul Agarwal, allows car owners to sell their cars, providing features such as instant payment and taking responsibility for all paperwork including registration certificate transfers. It sells the cars through its proprietary auction platform to businesses across the country.

The company said it recently entered the used two-wheelers category and has already transacted over 3,000 two-wheelers in less than six months of its operations.

The Series E funding comes a little over a year after Cars24 raised $100 million in a Series D funding round from both existing and new investors in October 2019.

Cars24 has become the latest startup to achieve the unicorn status this year roiled by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Last month, fintech firm Razorpay turned into a unicorn after a big Series D funding round. Earlier this year, two other fintech firms Pine Labs and Zerodha also achieved the unicorn status. 

Outside the fintech sector, edtech startup Unacademy joined the unicorn club in September after it raised $150 million in a new funding round led by SoftBank.

Investments in used-car segment

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

In June, CarTrade.com raised Rs 321 crore ($42.5 million) from two of its existing investors in its Series H round of financing.

In December 2019, auto portal CarDekho.com raised $70 million in its Series D round of funding led by Hong Kong-based growth-stage investor Ping An Global Voyager Fund.

The space also saw some consolidation this year when pre-owned cars platform Spinny, which secured a big Series B cheque from a Nandan Nilekani-backed investment firm earlier this year, acquired smaller rival Truebil in August.

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