Heating up the automotive classifieds segment even further, CarTrade, the online automobile platform which provides classifieds services in the aforementioned segment, has today announced closure of a $145 million round, led by Temasek Holdings and US-based March Capital.

Along with them, existing investor of the company Warburg Pincus also participated, in what is being termed as the largest funding round for a startup which is offering listing services in a niche category. Existing investors include Warburg Pincus, JP Morgan and Epiphany ventures.

The money raised will be used to fund the cash acquisition of CarWale which was pegged at around $100 million. It will also used the funds to expand its product offerings.  Vijay Sanghi, founder and CEO also mentions, that they will use fund to grow services business organically and are also looking at acquiring startups in new and used car space.

He adds,

We are extremely happy to have Temasek and March Capital on board as partners together with existing investor, Warburg Pincus. This investment is a validation of CarTrade’s business model and growth plans in the Indian online auto space. The funds raised shall be used to further expand our services organically and through acquisitions. We will continue to focus on products, services and strengthening our world class technology capabilities and platforms, to deliver a seamless online experience for auto enthusiasts across the country.

It is not yet known as to what valuation the company was pegged at before this round or what is the valuation of the company after the funding round. In October 2014, it had raised $30 million, which valued the company at $100 million.

A couple of months ago, CarTrade had acquired CarWale for around $90 – $100 million, which was mostly a cash deal. More than 90% stake of the company was owned by German media conglomerate Axel Springer. With this acquisition, CarTrade is now expecting a $400 Million in revenues in the next four years.

As for stats for the combined entity formed last year, CarTrade and CarWale get around 32 million visits per month. They have more than 10,000 new and used car dealers in their network with more than 2.25 lakh used cars listed on the platform. The company also has an auctions business, where over 2.5 lakh vehicles are sold to the wholesale market every year.

Following India’s vehicle classifieds segment, one would know how cluttered it has had become. The market suddenly saw a large number of heavily-backed players coming in, with more smaller rivals continuing to enter the space. CarTrade’s acquisition of Carwale combined with this massive funding, along with CarDekho’s acquisition of Zigwheels could perhaps be the first indications of the segment maturing and offering customers a more uniform experience.

Two other players in this field would be Quikr and Snapdeal, both of which more recently have been hugely aggressive with promoting their respective Quikr Cars and Snapdeal Motors. brands. The two however, are still not statistically close to either CarDekho or CarTrade, but could emerge as a major force considering the massive backing they’ve got.

Snapdeal recently announced a massive $200 Million investment into its cars division, and is looking to clock as much as $2 Billion in GMV from the cars segment alone.

Dubbed Snapdeal Motors, the platform has been introduced one year after Snapdeal first took up automobiles and added to its ever growing plethora of articles available for purchase.

Image Credit: franchiseconnectindia.com

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