CarDekho, the popular automobile portal for new and used cars, entered the unicorn club after raising $250 million as part of its latest Series E funding round led by Leapfrog Investments. With the latest round of funding, its valuation has come to about $1.2 billion, a rise of nearly $700 million it was valued at in its previous funding round.

The round includes $200 million Series E equity and $50 million as debt.

The funding round also saw participation from Canyon Partners, Mirae Asset, Franklin Templeton, Harbor Spring Capital as well as existing investors Sequoia Capital India and Sunley House. This pre-IPO round catapulted the 14-yer-old start-up into the coveted unicorn family, which has grown by leaps and bounds this year and attracted the attention of many high-profile investors such as Tiger Global, Sequoia, SoftBank, Falcon Edge Capital, and Temasek.

According to the 33rd Indian start-up and the second online car-retailing platform to become a unicorn this year, the proceeds from the funding round will be utilized towards global expansion in South-East Asia, growing its used car, financial services, and insurance businesses, and opening larger format stores to grow its presence in metro and non-metro cities across the country.

Owned by Girnar Software Pvt. Ltd, the start-up has expanded to over 100 markets. It buys and sells cars and offers a catalog of more than 3,000 certified pre-owned cars for online purchase. Additionally, it allows customers to make payments in installments and provides insurance coverage on cars purchased from CarDekho’s platform. It has a goal to retail a minimum of 4,000-5,000 vehicles every month on its e-commerce platform by the end of this fiscal year.

According to CarDekho, it works with over a dozen financial institutions to provide loans to customers and over three dozen insurance firms.

The demand for used cars has gone up in recent times – as many as 4.4 million used cars are sold in the Indian market every year, and the sector is expected to double by 2026. The market value of vehicles sold is also expected to increase to $60 billion over the next five years. CarDekho is aiming to take advantage of this growth and target a double-digit market share in this vertical.