Exclusive: CarDekho set to turn unicorn with Mirae, AIA Group-led funding round

Exclusive: CarDekho set to turn unicorn with Mirae, AIA Group-led funding round


Mumbai: Automobile marketplace CarDekho is in advanced talks to raise $100-150 million in a funding round led by Hong Kong-based insurance giant AIA Group and South Korea’s Mirae Asset Group, said three people with knowledge of the development.

“Mirae’s UK office is investing in the company, and more US-based funds will likely join the round,” said one of the sources. The funding will boost the company into the unicorn club with a post-money valuation of $1.2-1.4 billion, the sources said.

“Existing investors will also participate in the round and some early investors will cash out,” another person said. This is a pre-IPO round, in which the company is trying to realign its cap table and set a valuation benchmark, the sources said.

ET had on June 10 first reported the company’s plans to raise funds. Amit Jain, chief executive and cofounder of CarDekho, had then said the company will use the funds to expand its recently launched ecommerce platform for used cars.

In 2019, CarDekho had raised $70 million at a valuation of $725 million in a Series D funding round led by Hong Kong-based Ping An Global Voyager. It has so far raised $255 million in total from investors including Ratan Tata, Sequoia India, Hillhouse Capital, Ping An, Sunley House, Capital G (formerly known as Google Capital), HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, Times Internet, Trifecta Capital, Kreatif Media Karya and Dentsu.

Times Internet is part of Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd, which publishes The Economic Times.

Founded in 2008, Jaipur-based CarDekho operates auto sites such as CarDekho.com, Gaadi.com, ZigWheels.com and BikeDekho.com. Its fintech platform is the fourth largest used car retail loan originator in India, behind HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Mahindra Finance.

Spokespersons for Cardekho and AIA did not respond to emails seeking comment. A Mirae India spokesperson declined comment.

Covid tailwinds
India’s used car market has seen heightened interest since the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic began to ebb, as many people chose to buy their own vehicles rather than use public transport.

“We have received a very good response (on our online platform). The pandemic has only helped speed up the adoption of this model,” Jain had told ET in June.

The company is targeting a double-digit market share in India’s pre-owned cars space over the next five years but faces stiff competition from younger competitors such as Cars24 and Spinny, which have also seen an uptick in business. Ola is the newest entrant in this space.

As many as 4.4 million used cars are sold in India every year. The segment — currently dominated by unorganised players — will double in value by 2026, industry players estimate, and the value of used cars sold will treble to $60 billion.

Also Read: India’s tech-driven auto evolution

CarDekho currently sells vehicles in the National Capital Region, Mumbai and Bengaluru, and plans to expand operations to 20 Indian cities by March 2022. The company aims to sell a minimum of 4,000-5,000 vehicles every month on its ecommerce platform by the end of this fiscal, ET had previously reported.



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