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CarDekho turns unicorn; raises $250 million in pre-IPO round led by LeapFrog Investments

CarDekho turns unicorn; raises $250 million in pre-IPO round led by LeapFrog Investments

The investment round was led by LeapFrog Investments, along with Canyon Partners, Mirae Asset, Franklin Templeton, Harbor Spring Capital and existing investors Sequoia Capital India and Sunley House.

The new fundraise will help the online platform expand its used car transactions and Financial services businesses, said Amit Jain, Co-founder and CEO, CarDekho. The new fundraise will help the online platform expand its used car transactions and Financial services businesses, said Amit Jain, Co-founder and CEO, CarDekho.

Used car marketplace, Car Dekho has raised $250 million in Series E round which included $200 million equity and $50 million debt in a pre-IPO placement. 

The car search platform has hit a $1.2 billion valuation with the latest fundraise, it said, adding that it is the first unicorn startup based in Jaipur, Rajasthan. The investment round was led by LeapFrog Investments, along with Canyon Partners, Mirae Asset, Franklin Templeton, Harbor Spring Capital and existing investors Sequoia Capital India and Sunley House.

Sequoia Capital India was one of the early investors in CarDekho having led the Series A round in 2013 and Series C round in 2018.

Also Read: JK Tyre ties up with CarDekho, AutoBrix for doorstep services

The e-commerce platform joins the likes of Cars24 and Droom, which have crossed billion-dollar valuations, with the industry clocking an aggressive sales growth since the onset of the pandemic. Ride-hailing giant, Ola has also announced its foray into the segment with the launch of Ola Cars recently to sell refurbished cars.

Meanwhile, CarDekho said it is the largest ever fundraise by the firm and the proceeds will be used to accelerate its growth in the used car transactions, financial services and insurance businesses, build robust product and technology functions, increase brand awareness, and expand into new markets.  

In terms of its business model, CarDekho buys cars from customers in more than 100 markets and has a catalogue of 3,000+ certified pre-owned cars for online purchase. The company will expand its used car retail transactions business geographically and is set to increase its catalogue to 10,000 cars in the near future.

The company is also eyeing retail foray and seeking partnerships with the retail hubs that will focus on both used car buying and certified pre-owned car retail transactions with customers. CarDekho team is currently present in India, Indonesia and the Philippines and aims to use the funds to expand internationally.

"CarDekho, from being a car research portal, has evolved to become a complete ecosystem for car buying, lifecycle management and selling. We are committed to empowering our customers and providing them with a convenient and hassle-free experience," said Amit Jain, Co-founder and CEO CarDekho.

Also Read: Ola to make inroads in used car retailing business, to compete with Spinny, CarDekho

The new fundraise will help us expand our used car transactions and Financial services businesses. The trust and conviction of our investors will help us to accelerate our growth plans whilst we provide our customers with an experience that will continue to re-define car buying and selling," he added.

The company's auto and non-auto products are currently used in more than 30 countries globally.

Stewart Langdon, Partner and Co-Head of South Asian Investments, LeapFrog Investments, said that Jain and the team have done an outstanding job in building the leading digital platform in India's auto-tech market.

"We expect the business to continue on its rapid growth trajectory thanks to the calibre of the team and the extraordinary tailwinds which this segment now enjoys from increasing formalisation, digitisation and transparency," he added.

"CarDekho is an outstanding platform for large scale social impact, already making vehicles more accessible, affordable and trustworthy for over three million emerging consumers. Improving access to mobility in this way will help to drive development in other key areas, such as healthcare and education," Langdon noted.