CarTrade.com bets on services, eyes IPO

Automobile classifieds portal CarTrade.com, which might go in for an initial public offering in the next two years, is betting on the services segment in used car financing.

The company recently launched certification, valuation and transfer of ownership services. Going forward, CarTrade, which together with CarWale.com draws 75 per cent of all online automobile traffic, is also looking at potential acquisitions.

Vinay Sanghi, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of CarTrade.com, pointed out that the market for used car finance in India was an estimated Rs 1.2 lakh crore and only 8 per cent of used cars sold were financed by a formal lender.

This is due to the dearth of solution-oriented services in the sector. The financier needs data on the value of the vehicle, its condition, certification and name transfer.

He added, “We have started working on these aspects. We piloted our auto-finance services a month ago that provides services on certification, valuation and transfer,” Sanghi said.

CarTrade aims to evolve as a services provider because Sanghi feels this is one of the largest consumer finance opportunities.

The company raised $145 million recently from investors led by Temasek. The CarTrade portal, which has 15 million unique customers and 32 million visits per month, is already a market leader. 

Sanghi said the existing business was profitable and he did not need funds for it, but for inorganic growth opportunities in the product, technology and content space.

He added the company had so far raised $180 million. “We might go in for an IPO to offer an exit to our investors, and that should be in the next two to three years,” says Sanghi. 

Warburg Pincus, JP Morgan, Temasek and March Capital Partners are investors in the automobile classifieds portal CarTrade.com.

At present, around 9,000 new and used car dealers are listed on CarTrade, including 7,500 used car dealers.



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