$3m in Truebil for this Used Car Firm
Shunwei Capital puts funds in online marketplace for used cars
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.