India’s online automobile classifieds platform CarTrade has raised $145 million (Rs 950 crore), led by Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings and Santa Monica, Calif.-based venture capital firm March Capital Partners, with participation from existing private equity investor Warburg Pincus.
Other previous investors in CarTrade include JP Morgan and Epiphany Ventures. CarTrade was founded in 2009.
The deal is deemed the second-largest investment in an Indian online classified listings startup, illustrating a growing appetite by global investors for regional online used-car startup platforms, albeit with different business models. Last month, New York-based Vroom, an online startup retailer of pre-owned cars, agreed to acquire Texas Direct Auto, in a deal funded through a $95 million Series C equity round.
In November 2015, CarTrade acquired its rival CarWale, reportedly for $90 to $100 million in cash. CarTrade has over 32 million visits per month, in partnership with approximately 10,000 new and used car dealers. The platforms list more than 225,000 used cars for sale, and auction over 250,000 vehicles to the wholesale market annually. CarTrade and CarWale jointly contribute to a majority of all online sales for car dealers and car manufacturers in India, says the Business Standard.
However, CarTrade is facing fierce competition in India, from rival classified web portals such as CarDekko, Quikr, Snapdeal, Gaadi.com, Oncars.in, MotorTrends.in, and others.
“We are extremely happy to have Temasek and March Capital on board as partners together with existing investor, Warburg Pincus,” commented Vinay Sanghi, CarTrade’s founder and CEO.
“The funds raised shall be used to further expand our services organically and through acquisitions. We will continue to focus on products, services and strengthening our world class technology capabilities and platforms, to deliver a seamless online experience for auto enthusiasts across the country,” he added.
“India is an important market for us. It has certain structural advantages which include favorable demographics, increasing urbanization, and strong consumption trends. The online auto industry is a good proxy for the needs of transforming economies and growing middle income populations, both of which are part of our investment themes,” said Ravi Lambah, Temasek’s co-head for India.
“CarTrade has developed a unique and a world class platform for transacting in new and used vehicles. A leader in its segment, it has steadily expanded its offerings across India and today has an extremely strong network dealer partners with a rapidly growing user base,” said Sumant Mandal, managing director, March Capital.