Gurugram-based online used car marketplace Cars24 has raised an undisclosed amount of Series D funding in a strategic partnership with cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
The company said that the move aims to elevate and strengthen the brand as it continues to expand across markets. As part of this partnership, Dhoni will own equity in Cars24 and will be the company’s brand ambassador.
Founded in 2015 by Vikram Chopra, Gajendra Jangid, Ruchit Agarwal and Mehul Agrawal, Cars24 claims to create an efficient and reliable way for car owners to sell their used cars at the best price. All one has to do is book an appointment with any of the Cars24 branches, visit the branch and sell a car in a single visit. The company has expanded its presence via franchise model and intends to scale up its presence in over 300 Tier 2, 3 and 4 cities and towns by 2021.
The company believes that MS Dhoni’s “credentials, recognition and traits, on and off the pitch, makes him the perfect face for Cars24” and will further strengthen rhe company’s marketing efforts which are centred around the trust factor in pre-owned car sales.
Vikram Chopra, cofounder and CEO, Cars24 said, “We are very excited to welcome Mahi into the Cars24 family. He is a role model and hero to most Indians. 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.”
Mahendra Singh Dhoni said, “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. They have big ambitions and I am excited to work with them and help them achieve their goals.”
Prior to Cars24, Dhoni has cofounded his fitness brand SportsFit in 2012. He joins the celebrity cricketers such as Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh who have been actively pursuing interests across the indian startup ecosystem. The country has been increasingly seeing celebrity turning investors as well as founders.
The investment comes soon after reports surfaced that Cars24 has shut down about a dozen outlets in Delhi. It had reportedly received nearly six legal notices from landlords in Delhi for non-payment of rent for months.
Recently, Cars24 also received an NBFC license from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for its new entity — CARS24 Financial Services. With Cars24 Financial Services, the company will facilitate vehicle loans to customers as well as finance channel partners to help them expand their businesses. The customers will be eligible for a credit based on the car value they are buying. For consumers, the average ticket size of a loan would be INR 2.5 Lakh- INR 3 Lakh.