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2015-02-09

Ratan Tata invests in auto comparison portal CarDekho.com

Ratan Tata has joined hands with an auto portal by investing in a personal capacity.

In a first-of-its kind partnership in the Indian Auto space, CarDekho.com announced an investment in the company by Ratan Tata, Chairman emeritus of the Tata Sons conglomerate. This comes quick on the heels of the announcement of Series B funding of $50 million from Hong Kong based investors.

Tata, a deeply revered man in the Indian Auto sector, has joined hands with an auto portal by investing in a personal capacity. While the investment amount remains undisclosed, Tata has agreed to advise the company as and when required.

Overjoyed with this investment, Amit Jain, CEO and Co-Founder, GirnarSoft said, "We are extremely proud and excited to partner with a man of Tata's stature, especially considering his contribution to the growth and development of the Indian automobile industry. Following our humble beginning as a small venture in Jaipur, CarDekho has had a very exciting journey to reach this point of recognition and we now have very aggressive plans for developing our business and boosting revenues in the future."

"Post our recent funding and investment by Tata, we are another step closer to the group's vision of becoming a global company through our innovative products and services. With the faith and confidence shown by Tata in the company, it increases our responsibility towards contributing for the overall development of the online automobile sector," Jain added further.

GirnarSoft, the parent company of CarDekho.com, now valued at $300 million, recently concluded its series B funding with a raise of $50 million. The funding was led by Hillhouse Capital with participation from Tybourne Capital and Sequoia Capital.

Amit Jain further added "There is immense potential in the automobile classifieds sector in India and we are aiming at the untapped market opportunity that is available. In addition to the marketing and hiring activities, there are few smaller acquisitions in pipeline for us to enhance our business operations."

CarDekho.com's revenue has grown three-fold since 2013 when the company received Series A funding of $15 million from Sequoia Capital. The lead generation has been doubling Y-O-Y. CarDekho.com has seen a traffic growth of 45 per cent over previous year, which clearly makes CarDekho.com the most preferred auto car portal by people. Riding high on the company's growth and expansion plans, CarDekho.com had acquired another popular automotive portal, Gaadi.com late last year for its used car portfolio, innovation in the segment and talented workforce. The combined volumes of CarDekho.comand Gaadi.com position them as the largest players in online auto classifieds space by revenue and traffic in the country.

Rolling out the company's plans for the year, Anurag Jain, COO and Co-Founder, GirnarSoft said, "We are currently in the agile mode of expansion and our marketing initiatives are well aligned with our fast paced growth. We are focusing on uplifting and strengthening the brand presence through various activities this year. We would also be looking at doubling our workforce by hiring 1000 more people this year".

The automobile space has created the largest market value among vertical classifieds and globally public and private companies in the space are together valued at over $50 billion. Given that India is soon to become the third largest car market in the world, CarDekho.com is poised to create significant value for its shareholders.

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