Girnar Software, which runs several auto portals in India including CarDekho.com, has raised an undisclosed amount of new funding from Google Capital, with participation from returning investor Hillhouse Capital.
Before this round, Girnar Software had already raised at least $80 million. In addition to CarDekho.com, Girnar Software runs car classifieds sites Gaadi.com and Zigwheels.com, former competitors which it acquired in 2014 and 2015, respectively, and motorbike marketplace BikeDekho.com.
Girnar Software expanded its auto portal business internationally last March with the launch of CarBay.com, which operates in 25 countries in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, North America, and South America.
The company plans to continue growing overseas with its latest funding by making acquisitions, founder and CEO Amit Jain tells TechCrunch. In its home market, Girnar Software’s sites targets Indian car sellers and buyers with value-added services, like insurance, car accessories, tires, and roadside assistance.
According to a study by Japanese financial firm Nomura, India’s auto market is expected to grow 15.6 percent this year, nearly five times faster than the global growth rate. Factors fueling car ownership include larger salaries and pending tax changes that might make buying a vehicle cheaper.
CarDekho seeks to differentiate from rivals, like CarTrade (which has raised about $175 million), with technology like 360-degree of car interior and exteriors, audio recordings of horns, engines, and ignition, and virtual reality showrooms. The goal is to “ensure that the consumer gets an immersive experience of the car model he’s considering before he even visits a dealer showroom,” says Jain. It will improve its platform by investing some of its new funding into research and development.
In a press statement, Google Capital partner David Lawee said, “We’re very excited to be investing in Girnar Software, the parent company of Idia’s leading auto portal, CarDekho.com. The team is led by savvy entrepreneurs with a strong product orientation, who have positioned the company perfectly in a rapidly growing market.”