Emerging from the national lockdown, used-automobile seller Cars24 had to deal with a huge inventory its dealers were stuck with. So, it decided to use technological tools for faster matching of buying and selling requirements.
The start-up's co-founder and chief marketing officer, Gajendra Jangid, told Business Standard that the firm has built a mobile application (app) for bringing together dealers who were earlier connected only through the whatsApp messaging service. As next steps, the company would launch a chat box and token payment mechanism through the app.
The new features in the app have been planned after detailed feedback from the company’s dealers. “The whatsApp platform is not designed to list cars, so the exchange is open-ended and unstructured. The right order of information, therefore, is not available,” said Jangid. Information placed according to a set template for more than 9,000 cars has been exchanged through the app.
According to Jangid, more than 20,000 cars had been listed by dealers on the platform when the lockdown happened. “The lockdown posed challenges like margins, quick turnaround for inventory and stuck cars,” he said. Through the new measures, the company has been able to give access to dealers in a particular city. The app enabled getting more leads and better negotiations.
In this way a set-up can be built that helps both the dealers looking to sell and also the ones looking to buy, he said.
The app is active in 72 cities across India with the top five cities being Delhi-NCR, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Pune.
According to the company, there has been 73 per cent business recovery till June 14, 2020. In the week of June 8-14, 2020, the company has recorded recovery in traffic by 103 per cent in supply side and by 126 per cent demand side.
The market recovery is maximum in Bangalore. The company transacted 3,000 cars in May and 5,000 cars in the current month till June 22.
According to the company, the reason behind increase in sales is primarily consumer preference on commute options post lockdown. The company has also recently launched two-wheeler services on their platform.
CARS24 is a technology platform that offers buying and selling of used cars within an hour of a single visit to one of its branches. Besides payment, the company also does paperwork including RC transfer and enables end-to-end transaction. The company, in-turn, sells these cars online through its proprietary auction platform to businesses across India, dealing in pre-owned cars.
The company has over 10,000 channel partners from more than 230 cities across India with over 210 branches in over 70 cities. It is backed by Sequoia India, Exor Seeds, Apoletto (the investment vehicle of DST Global's billionaire founder Yuri Milner), London based multi-billion US$ fund Kingsway Capital, Silicon Valley and New York-based investment firm KCK, London-based investment firm Unbound and Moore Strategic Ventures, the privately held investment company for Louis M. Bacon, founder and CEO of Moore Capital Management. City-wise CARS24's business recovery
*percentage of recovery post easing in lockdown in comparison to pre-lockdown business