GirnarSoft makes strategic investment in Advanced Structures
IndiairnarSoft, the parent company of auto classified portal CarDekho.com, has made a strategic investment in car testing and benchmarking firm Advanced Structures India (ASI). While the terms of the transaction were not disclosed, the latest investment comes on the heels of the Jaipur-headquartered company’s acquisition of road side assistance company, Help On Wheels, in an all-cash deal, announced earlier this month. In an official statement sent out by the company, GirnarSoft will “leverage ASI’s expertise in testing and measurement to significantly improve car search experience on its portfolio of auto sites that will objectively showcase metrics and scores.” “For instance, today there are just Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) tested numbers on mileage, and everyone quotes mileage numbers based on standard track conditions. ASI has better tools to test the car on actual Indian roads for mileage and all other key parameters important for customers,” said Amit Jain, chief executive, GirnarSoft, in the statement. Founded in 2014 by Vaibhav Kumar and Rahul Ramola, ASI is an automotive engineering, testing and R&D solutions firm. It conducts scientific tests on cars to remove the judgement and subjectivity associated with parameters such as fuel efficiency, noise, vibration, comfort, acceleration and braking. “Joining GirnarSoft will allow us to integrate our existing technical framework into its robust technological infrastructure and develop a repository of credible reviews for users,” said Mr. Vaibhav Kumar, co-founder, ASI. The investment in ASI also comes a little over a month after the consumer internet company closed an undisclosed round of funding, led by Google Capital, the growth equity investment fund backed by Alphabet, and existing backer, Hillhouse Capital, which is believed to have valued it at about $400 million. GirnarSoft, which competes with Mumbai-headquartered, Temasek Holdings and March Capital-backed rival auto classifieds venture CarTrade.com, as well as with horizontal classified portals, such as Naspers-backed OLX and Warburg Pincus and Tiger Global-backed Quikr, has been one of the most active players in the Indian startup M&A landscape. The company, which also runs portals BikeDekho.com and PriceDekho.com, acquired Times Internet-backed ZigWheels for an undisclosed amount last year. Separately in April 2015, it was reported that it had acquired cross-product price comparison portal BuyingIQ.com, also for an undisclosed amount. Prior to that, in April 2014, the company had acquired Naspers Group-backed Gaadi.com. The company has also incubated and invested in CollegeDekho.com, which, earlier this month, announced that it had raised $2 million in pre-series A funding from London-based Man Capital.