Spinning Success In The Used Car Business

The Gurugram-based startup raised $283 Mn in Series E round led by Abu Dhabi-based ADQ, Tiger Global, and Avenir Growth at a $1.8 Bn valuation in December 2021

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The Indian used-car market is estimated to reach sales of 6.7 Mn to 7.2 Mn units per year by 2022. Cashing in on the massive opportunity is the used car startup, Spinny, which was founded in 2015 by Niraj Singh, founder and CEO, Ramanshu Mahaur, co-founder, and Mohit Gupta, co-founder. In December last year, the Gurugram-based startup announced raising of $283 Mn in Series E round led by Abu Dhabi-based ADQ, Tiger Global, and Avenir Growth at a $1.8 Bn valuation.  

Company Handout

The firm was set up with a mission to resolve the concerning trust issues in the otherwise disorganized used car sector in the country and competes with prominent players in the space including CarsTrade, Droom, CARS24, Cardekho, OLX, Quikr and OlaCars. 

“We entered the market slowly and steadily, understanding the needs and wants of the customers, and this approach has helped us fulfil our customers through our services. We wanted to attract the new age buyer and did that by focusing on our three strong points of transparent and trust-worthy services, seamless overall experience, and reassuring staff. Today, we are an end-to-end service provider, leaving no stone unturned when it comes to meeting our customers’ requirements,” said Niraj Singh, founder and CEO, Spinny. 

Spinny today has 36 car hubs and is operational in 22 cities including Delhi, Gurugram, Noida, Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Indore and Coimbatore. The startup claims that its cars come with hassle-free paperwork, free RC transfer, and used car finance options with low-interest rates.

The Pandemic Impact

With the increased demand for private vehicles, especially used cars, investors have been taking keen interest in the space. In December 2021, former Indian cricketer and Rajya Sabha MP Sachin Tendulkar joined Spinny as a strategic investor and brand ambassador. Besides Spinny, three Indian used-car marketplaces including CARS24, CarDekho and Droom turned into unicorns in 2021. 

“There is no denying that there has been a significant shift towards second hand cars during the pandemic. Not just the waiting period but people have begun to choose personal mobility solutions and the pre-owned car market has shown realistic choices in the midst of pandemic and other factors. The global pandemic and subsequent strict regulations fuelled the demand for pre-owned cars. Over the years, people have realized the importance of owning a personal source of mobility to attend to any on-demand need,” said Singh. 

He also added that the team’s single-most priority is to deliver quality products with intact safety and hygiene protocols to the consumers. “In alignment with our principles and strategies, we unveiled a special initiative called Spinny #withExtraCare during the pandemic peak. Through this step, we offered home test-drive opportunities to consumers amidst strict and thorough preventive measures as per WHO guidelines,” he said.

Spinny’s USP

Spinny operates across the entire value chain of pre-owned cars. When asked about the difference between Spinny’s full-stack model and that of other operators in the used car business, Singh said, “The difference in the organized and unorganized markets, is the level of integrity, responsibility and personal commitment that Spinny puts forward at every juncture of consumer interaction, whether you’re buying a Spinny Assured® car from a Spinny Car Hub or selling a car to Spinny. Spinny takes custody of a used car that has met its quality specifications and other parameters like driving record and service history, paying the owner in full, taking responsibility for the transfer of the car’s papers – on the same day that the Spinny’s evaluation team has deemed the car fit for purchase.” 

Singh claims that every car on the Spinny platform comes with a 200-point inspection checklist, 5-day no questions asked money-back guarantee, and 1-year after-sales warranty. Spinny’s full stack model takes responsibility for the refurbishment of the car – servicing, waxing, washing. And to potential buyers, it claims to not withhold any information or detail about the condition they found the car in – it is all available – dent map included, when you’re shopping for a car. 

Spinny offers a 200-point inspection, a certification process of evaluating the car's interior, exterior, and technical condition. To be certified as Spinny Assured®, all cars listed on Spinny must pass a 200-point check. The Spinny 200-point inspection looks for major dents and scratches on the car's surface, as well as any replaced parts. The interior evaluation examines the condition of the seats and upholstery. The buttons, sound system, and other features are also tested. The engine, suspension, brakes, and other technical features of the vehicle are also extensively examined during the evaluation.

Further, it offers a fixed price assurance, contactless car buying, 5 day money back guarantee and a one year warranty on all Spinny assured cars. Spinny’s workforce is 4000+ strong and growing across department. For this year, Spinny is looking to go deeper and aims to expand in 25-30 more cities by the end of this year.