Let us talk about unicorn startups. The year 2021 is a raining unicorn startup. What is a unicorn startup? A startup the value of which increases more than USD 1 billion is termed as the unicorn startup. The Unicorn Startups are the golden startups that have high recognition and have been in the eyes of the investors for a very long time.
The number of startups turning unicorns in their lifetime is significantly less, but the year 2021 for the Indian startup economy is proving to be lucky. In October of the year 2021, we already have 31 unicorn startups of the year. This rate of startups turning unicorns is fantastic, and now we are here to talk about the 32nd unicorn of the country for the year 2021.
We all know that year 2021 was earth-shaking for all. Nobody had any idea what was happening and what will happen. The future was uncertain; there were deaths around, people dying because of lack of oxygen, and hospital beds. There were no customers, and no money was circulating in the economy.
It somewhere showed that the economy was stagnant, and nobody knew till when the situation would continue. But now year 2021 has seen an improvement with a positive change; the economy has opened up, startups and businesses are back in action. We are now hearing news of fundings, mergers, and acquisitions, and whatnot. So, let us now discuss the 32nd unicorn startup of the year 2021.
32nd unicorn startup announced
The startup, CarDekho, has received funding of USD 250 million, as announced on October 13, 2021. Out of USD 250 million received, they raised USD 200 million in equity and USD 50 million in debt. This round of funding was the Series E round of funding led by LeapFrog Investments, a global impact investor focusing on financial services and healthcare access.
The other participants of this financing round were Canyon Partners, Mirae Asset, Franklin Templeton, and Harbor Spring Capital. Some existing investors of the startup also took part in this round of funding, which was Sequoia Capital India and Sunley House.
With this round of funding, the startup’s value increased to USD 1.2 billion, thus entering the famous Unicorn Club. The funds raised by the startup will be used to expand its used car and financial services business. The startup team is also planning to expand across India with retail hubs that will focus on both used car buying and certified pre=owned car retail transactions with customers.
The startup presently operates in India, the Philippines, and Indonesia and aims to utilize the funds raised to expand the international borders. The startup also has plans to expand its catalog to more than 10,000 cars in the coming future.
About the newly turned unicorn startup
The startup, CarDekho, is the country’s leading car search venture engaged in helping users buy the most suitable cars for them. The website and the application have rich automotive content like expert reviews, detailed specs and prices, comparisons and videos, and pictures of all car brands and models available in the country. The startup has tie-ups with many auto manufacturers, more than 4,000 car dealers, and many financial institutions, which help make the purchasing of vehicles easy.
The startup, which went live in 2008, has launched many innovative features that ensure users get a top-class experience of the car model before visiting a dealer showroom. The features include the Feel the Car tool that gives 360-degree interior/exterior views with sounds of the car and explanations of the elements with videos, searches, and comparisons by make, model, price, features, live offers, and promotions in all the clients. The startup platform also has a section of used car classifieds wherein users can upload their cars for sale and find used cars for buying from individuals and used car dealers.
The platform also provides a rich supply of tech-enabled tools to OE manufacturers and car dealers. These include applications for dealer sales executives to manage deals, cloud services for tracking sales performances, call tracker solutions, digital marketing support, a virtual online showroom, and outsourced lead management operational processes for taking consumers from inquiry to sales.
The startup’s vision is to construct a complete ecosystem for consumers, car manufacturers, dealers, and related businesses. Consumers have easy and unlimited access to buying, selling cars, and managing their entire ownership experience.
Ae. ph, Zigwheels. My, and Oto.com. The startup also has its presence in the UAE with Zigwheels. The startup has expanded to Southeast Asia with the launch of Zigwheels. The startup to diversify its offerings has come into the business of car insurance through InsuranceDekho.com.
About LeapFrog Investments
Founded in 2007, LeapFrog Investments is a private investment firm engaged in investing in high-growth financial services and healthcare companies in emerging markets. The founders are Andrew Kuper (who is also the CEO) and Jim Roth (who is also the partner). It has received funding of more than USD 2 billion from global investors. It usually serves the areas of Africa and Asia, and the firm’s investments have an annual growth of more than 26%.
What has been said about the deal?
Amit Jain, the co-founder and the CEO of CarDekho, said that the startup, being a research portal, has changed to become a complete ecosystem for car buying, life cycle management, and selling. He further said that the startup is committed to empowering the customers and providing them with a convenient and hassle-free experience.
Stewart Langdon, the Partner and Co-Head of South Asian Investments of LeapFrog Investments commented that the startup team had done an outstanding job in building the digital platform, which is leading in the auto-tech market of the country. He said they expect the business to increase because of the formalization, digitization, and transparency.
He further said that the startup is an excellent platform for sizeable social impact, making vehicles more accessible, affordable, and trustworthy for more than three million emerging customers. The development in mobility will help drive growth in other critical areas like healthcare and education.
Mr. Shailesh Lakhani, the Managing Director of Sequoia India, said that the startup team had built a business that had crossed their expectations. He further noted that many of the business units of the startup hold leadership positions and are now engaged in building further expertise in used cars and the financial services space where they are positioned firmly. He further said that the team at Sequoia India has a strong belief in their long-term success.
Mr. Abhinav Sharman, the Director at Sunley House Capital, said that he and the organization are thrilled to continue supporting the startup and its mission. He further said that since their initial investments, the startup has witnessed tremendous growth and has established itself as the largest tech-auto platform in the country.
He further said that he is confident that the new investment will enable the startup to accelerate and increase its growth in the retail auto market while capitalizing on the sizeable addressable market in auto insurance. The startup is doing good and is climbing the heights of success. We wish the startup good luck and a bright future.
Article Proof Read & Edited By Shreedatri Banerjee