Online used car retailer Cars24 said on November 24 that it has raised $200 million at a billion valuation from DST Global, making it India’s latest unicorn.
Founded in 2015 by Vikram Chopra, Mehul Agrawal, Ruchit Agarwal and Gajendra Jangid,Cars24 claims it has sold over 200,000 cars on its platform this year and engagement on its website is up four times compared to the previous year.
Existing investors including Exor Seeds, Moore Strategic Ventures and Unbound also participated in the round. Previously, Cars24 had also raised funds from Apoletto Asia- the personal investment vehicle of DST’s head- Russian Israeli billionaire Yuri Milner.
“Traditionally, car selling or buying has been a tiresome process, however, over the last five years, we have strived to transform the customer's journey- 'the CARS24 way' that is hassle-free, safe and transparent. With this investment, we will continue to innovate our product and bolster our capabilities to provide the best experience for all parties - with sellers getting the best value for their car, and buyers getting to choose from a wide assortment of automobiles,”said Vikram Chopra, Co-founder and CEO, said in a statement.
Sequoia Capital is also an investor in Cars24, and in CarDekho. CarDekho, which sells both new and used cars, was valued at about $700 million last year.
Cars24 also entered the used two-wheelers category six months ago and has sold over 3000 two wheelers, the company said. It also acquired an NBFC license last year for its financing business with two-hour loan disbursals.
Cars24 reported a loss of Rs 325 crore on a gross revenue of Rs 1687 crore for FY19, compared to a loss of Rs 79 crore on revenues of Rs 670 crore, according to regulatory filings.
2019 saw India face an unprecedented automobile slowdown, but the used car segment has still been growing strongly, although on a smaller base. People stayed at home for months during the Covid-19 pandemic, but automakers say people will buy more cars than before, given that it is a safer alternative than cabs or public transport.
New investor DST Global is actively funding Indian startups again this year, after a lull for a year or two. This year it has invested in online education firm Byju’s, Cars24 and is still scouting for more deals, said a person close to the firm, who did not want to be named.