CarDekho makes its third acquisition this year, buys out Volob Technologies

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Mumbai: Jaipur-based Girnar Software Pvt. Ltd, which owns and operates online portals CarDekho.com, Gaadi.com and Zigwheels.com, has acquired Volob Technologies, a virtual reality start-up, in an all-cash deal, the company said on Tuesday. The deal size was undisclosed.

This is the third acquisition that the company has made this year. In April, it bought out SaaS startup Connecto and roadside assistance start-up Help On Wheels Pvt. Ltd in a cash-and-stock deal.

Volob that was founded in 2010 by Tarun Kumar and Shweta Jain provides 3D visualisation solutions to various industries, primarily automotive, and this acquisition will strengthen 3D visualisation capabilities of CarDekho by use of virtual and augmented reality.

“Visual experience is an important element in assessing a car or bike. Volob has proven expertise in the virtual content. CarDekho.com’s acquisition of Volob is aimed at amplifying the visual experience of car buyers in both real and virtual settings. GirnarSoft has enriched its value proposition for online buyers, dealers and OEMs (original equipment manufacturers),” said Amit Jain, co-founder and CEO, CarDekho.com

CarDekho, which is currently valued at $380 million, raised funds from Google Capital and Hillhouse in March. The company that started out as a portal for used cars branched out to provide new car services after it acquired Gaadi.com in 2014. Revenue generation for the company is greatly dependent on advertisement revenues from the new car segment.

The strategy to move to the new car segment was adopted by rival CarTrade.com (MXC solutions Pvt. Ltd) that acquired CarWale.com in 2015 and also raised Rs950 crore in a round led by Singapore-based investment firm Temasek and March Capital this year.

India sold 2.6 million passenger vehicles in 2014-2015, according to data provided by industry lobby Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam).

CarDekho is looking to doing everything possible to equip its users in better services and decision-making related to car ownership. It made a strategic investment in car testing firm Advanced Structures India (ASI) this year. The company had previously acquired Drishya360s, a premier photography and video production firm, to develop its virtual reality framework.

The auto portals for Girnarsoft together draw close to 33 million visits per month with 22 million unique visitors per month. As part of its expansion plans in India, CarDekho is looking to add value-added services. It launched insurance, accessories and tyres last year, in addition to roadside assistance services.