Despite a Slump in the Auto Sector, This Auto Start-up is Spearheading the Online Car Marketplace with its Latest Funding
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Tech-enabled online car marketplace CARS24 raised $100 million in Series D round of funding with participation from existing investors including KCK, Agnelli (Fiat) Family and Sequoia India. A part of the investment round was raised from Unbound, a global investment firm headquartered in London, and Moore Strategic Ventures, LLC (“MSV”), a New York based investment firm. The funds will be utilised to strengthen the footprint of the company in new cities, franchise model, technology and recently announced consumer lending business.
Founded by BITS Pilani and University of Pennsylvania alumni, Mehul Agrawal and Vikram Chopra, respectively, CARS24 makes car selling and buying a hassle-free endeavour by offering the sale of second-hand cars at the best price. It provides a variety of options apart from trade such as insurance, finance and most importantly, roadside assistance. Currently, it claims to have 10,000 channel partners registered on its platform and aims to increase the network to more than 20,000 partners in the next 2 years.
Investors Unfazed by the Slump
The auto industry which is the fourth largest in the world is facing a slump. With the rapid decline in sales and the government pushing for the use of EVs, completely internalizing them as the sole transport vehicles by 2020, the Indian auto industry is bound to face a decline. Recently, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) announced a 17 percent decline in passenger vehicle sales for the month of April, the lowest in nearly eight years. CARS24's example has proven that despite the industry facing some lofty tides, investors are still showing faith in start-ups associated with the industry.
Commenting on the funding, Vikram Chopra, co-founder and CEO of CARS24, said, “With this investment, we have not only strengthened our vision to become India’s largest pre-owned automobile company but have also given one more reason to our customers to have faith in us. Our motive is to expand across India and give our customers a hassle-free selling experience. Any car owner can sell their car at a great price in less than an hour by driving down to the nearest CARS24 branch. To make it a reality, we’ve been investing heavily in making our tech more robust, as well as convenient and friction less for all.”In July, Cars24 had a major breakthrough when it acquired a non-financing banking license (NBFC) from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), to advance its consumer lending arm called CARS24 Financial Services. This initiative was setup with the aim to help the auto tech platform to accelerate its financial services, beginning from Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore and eventually scale up in other cities.