Ratan Tata invests in CarDekho parent GirnarSoft

Ratan TataRatan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons, has invested an undisclosed amount in GirnarSoft, the parent company which operates portals such as CarDekho, BikeDekho, Gaadi and PriceDekho, the first investment by the industrialist in his personal capacity.

GirnarSoft, set up by Amit Jain, currently houses three automobile portals and a price comparison web site `PriceDekho'.

It is for the first time that Tata has joined hands with an auto portal by investing in his personal capacity. He has also agreed to advise the company as and when required. Tata's association with the auto portal should augur well for Tata Motors which is passing through the worst of times with low sales and profits.

''We are proud and excited to partner with Tata, considering his contribution in the growth and development of the Indian automobile industry. Following our humble beginning as a small venture in Jaipur, CarDekho has had an exciting journey to reach this point of recognition. We have aggressive plans for developing our business and boosting revenues in future,'' Amit Jain, CEO and Co-Founder of GirnarSoft, parent company of CarDekho.com, said.

''Post our recent funding and investment by Tata, we are a step closer to the group's vision of becoming a global company through our innovative products and services. With the confidence shown by Tata in the company, it increases our responsibility towards contributing for the overall development of the online automobile sector,'' he added, without disclosing the amount invested.

GirnarSoft is currently valued at $300 million and Jain hopes to make it a mutli-billion dollar firm in the next five years.

The company recently concluded its series B funding of $50 million, which was led by Hillhouse Capital with participation from Tybourne Capital and Sequoia Capital.

According to Jain, ''There is immense potential in the automobile classifieds sector in India and we are aiming at the untapped market opportunity that is available. In addition to marketing and hiring activities, there are few smaller acquisitions in the pipeline for us to enhance our business operations.''

CarDekho.com's revenue has grown three-fold since 2013 when the company received series funding of $15 million from Sequoia Capital. The lead generation has been doubling year-on-year.

With a traffic growth of 45 per cent last year, CarDekho.com had acquired another popular automotive portal, Gaadi.com, for its used car portfolio. The combined volumes of CarDekho.com and Gaadi.com position them as the largest players in the online auto classifieds space by revenue and traffic in the country.

''We are currently in the agile mode of expansion and our marketing initiatives are well aligned with our fast-paced growth. We are focusing on uplifting and strengthening the brand presence through various activities this year. We would also be looking at doubling our workforce by hiring 1,000 more people this year,'' said Anurag Jain, COO and co-founder of GirnarSoft.