$3m in True­bil for this Used Car Firm

Shun­wei Cap­i­tal puts funds in on­line mar­ket­place for used cars

The Economic Times - - Disruption: Startups & Tech - Supraja.Srini­vasan @times­group.com

Mumbai: On­line mar­ket­place for used cars True­bil has raised $3 mil­lion (around .₹ 20 crore) in a fol­lowon se­ries-A round from Chi­nese ven­ture cap­i­tal firm Shun­wei Cap­i­tal. The com­pany had raised $5.5 mil­lion in the first tranche of its se­ries-A round from Kalaari Cap­i­tal, In­ven­tus Cap­i­tal and San Fran­cisco-based Tek­ton Ven­tures in Jan­uary 2016. With this in­fu­sion from Shun­wei Cap­i­tal, whose back­ers in­clude Xiaomi founder Lei Jun, the to­tal cap­i­tal raised by the firm so far stands at $9 mil­lion. The in­vest­ment marks Shun­wei Cap­i­tal’s de­but in the In­dian startup ecosys­tem and is es­pe­cially rel­e­vant at a time when Chi­nese in­vestors are be­ing ag­gres­sively courted by In­dian en­trepreneurs and their back­ers, as they search for long-term pools of pri­vate cap­i­tal to back their growth as well as prop them up to sur­vive the on­go­ing fund­ing win­ter. ET re­ported in De­cem­ber that Shun­wei is also in talks to in­vest in gam­ing startup Mech Mocha.

True­bil’s model is sim­i­lar to that of Chi­nese firm RenRenChe – a mar­ket­place that Shun­wei Cap­i­tal has in­vested heav­ily in and is in line with the fund’s In­dia strat­egy to in­vest in spa­ces it is al­ready fa­mil­iar with. “True­bil’s busi­ness model is one that we are fa­mil­iar with. We be­lieve this puts us at an ad­van­tage in an­tic­i­pat­ing the op­por­tu­ni­ties and chal­lenges that this busi­ness presents,” Tuck Lye Koh, CEO at Shun­wei Cap­i­tal, said in an emailed re­sponse to ET’s query.

With rapid ex­pan­sion plans on the cards, True­bil plans to utilise the cap­i­tal to in­ten­sify its ex­pan­sion plans and bol­ster its tech­no­log­i­cal in­fra­struc­ture. “We will be us­ing the pro­ceeds pri­mar­ily to­wards skill devel­op­ment and aug­ment­ing the tech­no­log­i­cal in­fra­struc­ture of the com­pany,” said Suraj Kal­wani, CEO at True­bil. The com­pany is work­ing on customer-cen­tric prod­ucts such as True Score – an al­go­rithm that helps rate cars us­ing data points of the con­di­tion of the car, price of the car and ge­o­graph­i­cal pa­ram­e­ters. The Mumbai-based com­pany re­cently launched op­er­a­tions in Ben­galuru and in­tro­duced True­bil Di­rect — an off­line plat­form for pre­owned cars based on the full-stack in­ven­tory model. “30% (of our rev­enues) come from True­bil Di­rect while70%(comes)fromthe­mar­ket­place. But go­ing for­ward, we want to in­crease it to 50% with lesser vol­umes,” Shubh Bansal, chief mar­ket­ing of­fi­cer, told ET.

True­bil may launch op­er­a­tions in Delhi in six months and has chalked out a ro­bust growth strat­egy for 2018. The firm, which un­der­takes 200 trans­ac­tions per month on its mar­ket­place and 60 per month on True­bil Di­rect, is look­ing at 750 and 450 trans­ac­tions per month re­spec­tively across three cities.

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