CarDekho Bootstrapped First, Raised Money Later, Acquiring Bootstrapped Startups

According to IBEF, the Indian automotive industry is expected to reach INR 16.16-18.18 trillion (US$ 251.4-282.8 billion) by 2026. The growth is expected to be driven by increasing middle-class income and a young population. Auto portal CarDekho was bootstrapped and profitable for six years before it raised external funding. It is a textbook case study of a capital-efficient startup that has acquired several bootstrapped startups as discussed in my recent article on Bootstrapping to Exit.

CarDekho’s Journey

Jaipur-based CarDekho was founded by IIT Delhi alumni and brothers Anurag and Amit Jain in 2008, a year after they founded a software company GirnarSoft. A visit to the Delhi Auto Expo sparked off an idea to create a platform that could make car buying easier. Today, CarDekho is an online car search platform for both new and used cars that offers expert reviews and price comparisons. It also facilitates car purchases through its partnerships with car manufacturers, dealers, and financial institutions. It has offices in seven cities and employs over 2,000 people.

The parent company GirnarSoft also operates auto sites such as,,, and Powerdrift. It has also introduced college discovery platform,, and CarDekho and GirnarSoft have used an acquisition-led strategy to expand. Together, they have acquired eight startups, all of which were bootstrapped.

GirnarSoft acquired software consulting company Valueserve Management Consultants in 2013, video production, VR, AR, and web designing startup Drishya360s in 2015, emergency roadside assistance startup Help On Wheels with annual revenue of $4M in 2016, SaaS startup Connecto in 2016 to improve user experience, 3D visualization platform Volob in 2016, and automotive content startup PowerDrift in 2018.

CarDekho acquired auto news portal ZigWheels with annual revenue of $1M in 2015. It acquired Gaadi Web, an auto portal for new and used cars with annual revenue of $4.5M, in 2014 for $11 million.

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