The used-car business is bigger than the new-car market in India. According to a rough estimate, almost three million secondhand cars were sold in India in 2013 as opposed to the 2.5 million new cars.
The market in India is expected to grow by a CAGR of 20 per cent in the next five years, with the organised sector playing a big role in this growth story. According to a CRISIL report, till 2006-2007, the used-car market was dominated by unorganised players, with C2C contributing to more than 96 per cent of the market share. Organised players were just four per cent in 2006-2007, increasing to 16 per cent in 2011-2012. This growth in the organised market is continued and expected to cover the entire industry in the coming years.
Observing the growth of organised players in the used-car segment, Ukrainian Anton Rublevskyy, who was running an auto classified portal back in his country, decided to enter the Indian market. In 2013, he launched Autoportal in India. Based in Gurgaon, the platform claims to be a one-stop solution for all things automotive with a primary motive to making car buying and selling as hassle free as possible.
According to Anton, the platform solves existing problems in an industry already replete with similar companies for years. He says, “We are solving two important problems in the used-vehicle segment: we help dealers sell the vehicle faster and in a more managed way and also help consumers make a hassle-free purchase by providing information, transparency in pricing and in-person consultation. We are a calibrated automotive e-commerce player, covering major locations and brands in this process.”
According to Anton, the growth has been great, with over five million users and over 300 cars sold via the platform in the past one-and-a-half years.
Anton is also creating video content on YouTube that is gaining good amount of viewership for them, apart from helping in branding. He claims to have sold hundreds of cars successfully through his platform per month. “We are able to do this because we have connected with the dealers, with a backend system which handles the complete customer journey from intent to purchase. This system is updated by dealers and the Autoportal team in real time,” he adds.
The company received initial seed investment from BeStrategic, an investment group. . “Talks are on with various VC firms as well to raise funds,” says Anton.
The pre-owned car market is inundated with players running various online portals. Carnation, Cardekho, CarTrade, ZigWheels and Droom are some of the major platforms in the segment. Despite OLX and Quikr being multi-category classifieds, they can also be considered competition.
These portals have raised huge amounts of funding in the past few years. In January this year, Cardekho raised $50 million in a round of funding led by Chinese funds Hillhouse Capital and Tybourne Capital. In October 2014, Cartrade raised $30 million from Warburg Pincus, Tiger Global and Canaan Partners. In July 2015, automobile-focussed marketplace Droom raised $16 million funding in Series A led by Lightbox.
Though there are similar platforms available, Anton feels the market is still hugely fragmented and no one has really started solving the real pain points of the vehicle transaction process.