Former Indian captain MS Dhoni has invested in Gurugram-based online used car marketplace Cars24 for an undisclosed sum, the company announced on Tuesday. The investment is part of the series D round of funding. Founded in 2015 by Vikram Chopra and Mehul Agrawal, the company is backed by Sequoia India, Exor Seeds, partners of DST Global, London-based Kingsway Capital and Silicon Valley investment firm KCK.
"I am thrilled to be part of the CARS24 journey. Besides being a fan of all things to do with cars, I am also a fan of new age companies that are disruptive, innovative and shaping the future. CARS24 is definitely one of these companies," Dhoni said in a statement. As consumption slowdown and liquidity crunch hit the auto industry including the second-hand car market, Cars24 reportedly shut down a dozen stores in the national capital recently, saying it is in the process of "addressing anomalies".
"We are very excited to welcome Mahi into the CARS24 family. His ability to constantly evolve, innovate and find solutions to every problem thrown at him over the years have made him the most celebrated captain in the Indian history," said Chopra. CARS24 said it has invested in data and technology to provide consumers with a reliable and trusted solution.
"We already have a huge customer base in the used car industry and plan to engage them further by offering our services from over 1,000 branches in the next few years,' added Gajendra Jangid, Co-Founder and CMO CARS24. The company has recently announced its foray into the franchise model and intends to scale up its presence in over 300 tier II, III and IV markets by 2021.
Last month, Cars24 said it was in the process of addressing "anomalies observed with a few properties" after the media reported that half-a-dozen landlords in Delhi sent legal notices to the Sequoia-funded platform for allegedly not paying rents for months and shutting down outlets in violation of lease agreements.
They alleged that Cars24 ended leases before the lock-in period was over. "We conduct periodic internal audit of all properties for compliance and are currently in the process of addressing anomalies observed with a few properties in our recent audit," Jangid had told IANS. Including the retail branches, parking and offices, the number of properties Cars24 operates in the country is around 200. "We are planning to be present in 70 cities with 230 branches by 2019," Jangid had said, adding that the platform has secured trust of over 10,000 channel partners from more 230 cities who are registered on its platform.
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