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ReutersStock Markets47 minutes ago (Sep 20, 2021 03:46AM ET)

India's Cars24 valuation nearly doubles after $450 million raise
© Reuters.

By Rama Venkat

BENGALURU (Reuters) -Indian used-car platform Cars24 said on Monday it raised $450 million from investors including SoftBank Group, nearly doubling its valuation to $1.84 billion, as demand for personal transport soared during the pandemic.

Car sales have picked up in recent months as curbs ease and people avoid public transport, but carmakers have been hit by semiconductor shortages that have disrupted production. The used-car market has also seen a pick-up in recent months.

Demand for used cars is at an all-time high, Cars24 Chief Executive Officer Vikram Chopra said in an emailed statement to Reuters.

With the chip crunch driving up prices, automakers such as Maruti Suzuki India, Tata Motors (NYSE:) and Mahindra and Mahindra have taken production hits and raised prices of certain vehicles.

That is expected to benefit Cars24, however, as carmakers have warned that the output hits could stifle their ability to meet heated demand during the upcoming festive season.

The demand for pre-owned cars is expected to see a significant uptick in the next few months, Chopra said.

Cars24, founded in 2015, dominates over 90% of India’s online used-car marketplace and operates across more than 130 cities in India.

The new fund raise included a $340 mln Series F equity round featuring investments from SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2, Tencent Holdings (OTC:) Ltd and DST Global, Cars24 said, along with $110 million in debt from financial institutions.

“With this investment, we will continue to penetrate into existing car, bikes and financing business in India while venturing into new overseas geographies this year,” Chopra said in a separate statement.

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