In the Press

Droom crosses 500 cities, becoming India's largest hyper local marketplace

In a feat of sorts, Droom, India's pioneering online automobile transactional marketplace today became India's largest hyper local marketplace by bringing a whopping number of 500 cities, under its aegis.

In a feat of sorts, Droom, India's pioneering online automobile transactional marketplace today became India's largest hyper local marketplace by bringing a whopping number of 500 cities, under its aegis. The watershed moment came soon after the company announced that it has achieved 1 lakh auto dealers on its online platform.

In order to reach this target, Droom has been aggressively running seller affiliation and community building programmes to increase its network base.

The company has dedicated teams of account managers and sellers on boarding team who train new sellers who comes on board. The unique Droom University provides a one stop solution to all seller related needs and queries including more than 100 hours of online tutorials and skill development programs for auto dealers. The company's seller support mechanism deals with all kinds of post sales queries and other related questions.

500 cities, one lakh auto dealers and with eyes on achieving 1,50,000 seller mark by the end of this year are big numbers, if we consider the overall automobile market in India and its online penetration. Best part is we achieved this in 13 months in free/organic efforts. In the course of time, we want to bring even more number of cities on our platform and this would not be possible without the highly scalable and robust technology platform that we have built combined with whole suite of automobile ecosystem services tools out of which many are becoming defacto standard such as OBV, History. Innovating and growing by adopting the best of practices lies at the very core of our DNA and we are confident of achieving more such milestones soon, said founder and CEO Droom, Sandeep Aggarwal.

Presently, Droom has its presence across 500 cities in India, with 160 cities in North India, 132 cities in West India, 130 cities in South India and remaining in rest if India, across all prominent states. The company also has an adequate presence in the Tier II and III cities and towns, across the country.

Droom becomes largest auto dealers platform in India, crosses one lakh

India's pioneering online automobile transactional marketplace Droom on Monday announced that it has accomplished one lakh sellers on its online platform.

This feat has brought the total number of sellers on the marketplace platform to 100,149 and the company is confident of reaching the 1,50,000 seller mark by the end of this calendar year.

In order to achieve this ambitious target, Droom is aggressively running seller affiliation programmes to increase its network base. The company also has in its folds dedicated teams of sellers who trains new sellers who comes on board.
The one-of-a-kind Droom University provides a one stop solution to all seller related needs and queries. The company's seller support mechanism deals with all kinds of post sales queries and other related questions.
One lakh sellers, mark a watershed moment in our voyage to become the undisputed leader in the online automobile domain. I would like to thank everyone in the team who has helped us in achieving this significant landmark and our entire seller community for believing in us. Going forward we will continue to innovate and grow in order to serve customers and empower our sellers, in newer and better ways, said co-founder and VP Business Development, Droom, Rishab Malik.
We are a high-end technology backed marketplace platform with innovative proprietary tools such as Orange Book Value, Eco App, Droom History, Full Circle Trust Score that are hugely beneficial for sellers on our platform, he added.
The company currently has sellers from 429 cities across India, registered on its platform with 85 percent hailing from Tier II cities. The portal boasts of a balanced ratio of four wheelers vs two wheeler automobile sellers. The journey to the milestone mark has been firm, often challenging, yet momentous.

Droom adds Mint Vehicles, VIP Numbers and three other categories

Online automobile transactional marketplace Droom is offering specialised categories to capture new customers. In its latest offering, Droom has added five categories -- Mint Vehicles, VIP Numbers, Odd-Even Numbers, Hard-To-Find and Old-Is-Gold which cater to a wide spectrum of customer desires.

CHENNAI: Online automobile transactional marketplace Droom is offering specialised categories to capture new customer segments. In its latest offering, Droom has added five categories -- Mint Vehicles, VIP Numbers, Odd-Even Numbers, Hard-To-Find and Old-Is-Gold which cater to a wide spectrum of customer desires.

Vehicles belonging to the Mint Vehicles category are used vehicles which are in pristine, almost brand-new condition.
It is always a desire of every young boy/girl to drive in one of those swanky cars that have cool number plates such as 007, 111 and 786. With its VIP Numbers category, Droom is catering to this need.
Any vehicle, new or used, can be fitted with a number plate of your choice. Added to that, Droom also provides its buyers a choice to buy vehicles based on whether the registration number is odd or even, according to their utility keeping Delhi/NCR's experiment with odd-even number plates.
Rishab Malik, cofounder and VP – business development, Droom, said: “Specific number plates, top-notch condition vehicles or buyers searching for odd or even numbered plates to suit their purpose, we have come across these not-so-common requests time and again. Thus we decided to provide such allied services which have become extremely popular with our buyers. These services, though subtle, end up making a huge impact on the buyers’ minds and often nudge people enough to repeat transactions.”
Apart from fancy number plates or flashy marques, there are those customers who like things vintage and/or rare. For these buyers, Droom has launched its Hard-To-Find category where one can choose to buy a rare model from a leading brand or pick up a vintage/retro car under the Old-is-Gold category, a listing full of yesteryears’ vehicles which were known for their delicate craftsmanship.

Droom ties-up with multiple service provides to ensure Road Side Assistance

Droom ties-up with multiple service provides to ensure Road Side Assistance - India's pioneering online automobile transactional marketplace Droom has given a boost to its allied services segment by signing up with some of the biggest service providers in the Road Side Assistance category, including Allianz Worldwide Partners.

India's pioneering online automobile transactional marketplace Droom has given a boost to its allied services segment by signing up with some of the biggest service providers in the Road Side Assistance category, including Allianz Worldwide Partners. The move is expected to garner more traction and better customer experience for the online marketplace in this category.
This latest agreement assumes all the more importance as it was achieved after several meetings and intense negotiations. Along with this partnership, Droom has also signed up a number of regional sellers such as Road India (RSA-500 locations), Zaiuto and Gomgarage.
The partnerships have enabled Droom to cover 477 locations across the country where it can provide Road Side Assistance to its consumers, including the metropolitan cities of Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Pune.
This is a major development that will impact the current fabric of the online automotive industry. With RSA being provided by brands such as Allianz Worldwide and other regional providers, confidence of car buyers from Droom will definitely enhance, leading to greater brand support, said co-founder and VP Business Development Droom, Rishab Malik.
This agreement justifies and fulfills the brand valuation of all the service providers to the hilt. We are looking forward to earning huge success with this collaboration and further provide confidence in the buyers regarding the vehicles transacted by Droom, added Malik.
Droom currently has 12 partners in its RSA services provider channels and 10 partners providing Eco-inspector services. Droom's RSA services will be available in cities including Vijayawada, Varanasi, Warangal, West Sikkim, Iruvannamalai, Trivandrum, Tiruchy, Srinagar, Rohtak, Rewari, Nagaon, Meerut, Guwahati, Ferozepur, Coimbatore, Bellary and Amravati.
To avoid confusion due to the presence of multiple RSA service providers in a particular city, Droom, like a perfect marketplace, has given the customers complete freedom to choose a partner service provider without any bias or preference, thus empowering their buyers and bringing transparency in operations.

Droom ties up with multiple service providers for road side assistance

Along with this partnership, Droom has also signed up a number of regional sellers such as Road India (RSA-500 locations), Zaiuto and Gomgarage.

NEW DELHI: India’s online automobile transactional marketplace Droom has signed up with multiple service providers in the Road Side Assistance (RSA) category, including Allianz Worldwide Partners.

The move is expected to garner more traction and better customer experience for the online marketplace in this category, said Droom.
Along with this partnership, Droom has also signed up a number of regional sellers such as Road India (RSA-500 locations), Zaiuto and Gomgarage.
The partnerships have enabled Droom to cover 477 locations across the country where it can provide Road Side Assistance to its consumers, including the metropolitan cities of Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Pune.
Rishab Malik, CO –Founder and VP – Business Development, Droom said, "This is a major development that will impact the current fabric of the online automotive industry. With RSA being provided by brands such as Allianz Worldwide and other regional providers, confidence of car buyers from Droom will definitely enhance, leading to greater brand support."
"This agreement justifies and fulfills the brand valuation of all the service providers to the hilt. We are looking forward to earning huge success with this collaboration and further provide confidence in the buyers regarding the vehicles transacted by Droom.”
Droom currently has 12 partners in its RSA services provider channels and 10 partners providing Eco-inspector services. Droom’s RSA services will be available in cities including Vijayawada, Varanasi, Warangal, West Sikkim, Iruvannamalai, Trivandrum, Tiruchy, Srinagar, Rohtak, Rewari, Nagaon, Meerut, Guwahati, Ferozepur, Coimbatore, Bellary and Amravati.

Struggling online auto classifieds bet on used car business to increase revenues

Major auto classifieds portals CarTrade, CarWale and CarDekho are betting big on used car business and financing of such cars as they expect this vertical to be their future growth engine even as they battle mounting losses. CarTrade, which also owns CarWale, and CarDekho, which also owns Gaadi.com and ZigWheels.com, both plan to go public by 2019-2020, senior company officials said.

"The new big business that we are focussing on is the financing for used cars in FY18," said Vinay Sanghi, CEO of CarTrade. The company launched auto finance as a service in October in partnership with banks and NBFCs to document and evaluate used cars to enable loans. "Auto finance will form 25% of our business by FY18," Sanghi said.
CarDekho is also busy building its used car business. "The new car business is our cash cow, where we are already profitable. But the growth engine for the future is used cars," said Amit Jain, cofounder at CarDekho. "I am investing in this business and I'm bleeding," he told ET.
The firm is also looking to build competencies in evaluation and financing for used cars.
Jain expects the used car business to grow almost 90% in the coming year even as the company gears up for an aggressive marketing campaign for the vertical despite rising losses.
Girnar Software, which owns and operates CarDekho and its subsidiaries, saw its losses swell more than three times year-on-year at Rs 144 crore in FY16. The company posted operational revenues of Rs 82.4 crore, 75% more than FY15.
Droom which has, till date, raised about $45 million from a host of investors, including VC firms Lightbox and Beenext, e-commerce operator Beenos, Japan's Digital Garage, Hong Kong-based investment company Integrated Asset Management and Axis Capital is also in talks with potential investors, for $30-50 million in its next round of funding, expected to close over the next few months.

Maruti Suzuki Swift, Bajaj Pulsar rule online automotive platforms: Study

The Maruti Suzuki Swift and the Bajaj Pulsar are the most popular car and bike on online platforms, found a recent study by online automobile transactional marketplace Droom.

The study, based on analysis of Droom's platform database to understand the consumer behavior on its portal, found that Swift was closely by Toyota Innova and Honda City. Swift topped the list for the second year in a row. Maruti Suzuki also scored over its competitors in terms of the overall body make.
In the bikes segment, Bajaj Pulsar emerged as the most popular vehicle, followed by Hero Passion Pro and Bajaj Discover, while Honda Active staked claim at the top of the scooter segment, beating the likes of Suzuki Access and Honda Aviator. The trends were identified from Droom's platform data corresponding to the 2015-16 period.

Maruti Suzuki Swift most popular car, Bajaj Pulsar best bike: Droom survey

Maruti SuzukiBSE -0.63 % Swift emerged as the most popular car for the second consecutive year as per a study in consumer preferences conducted by Droom, an online automobile transactional marketplace.

An analysis of its platform database further revealed that Toyota Innova and Honda City came next in line in terms of popularity among consumers.
In the bikes segment, Bajaj Pulsar emerged as the most popular vehicle, followed by Hero Passion Pro and Bajaj Discover, while Honda Active staked its claim at the top of the scooter segment, beating the likes of Suzuki Access and Honda Aviator.
The trends were identified from Droom's platform data corresponding to the 2015-16 period.
According to the report, 59% of queries and online sales closed by Droom comprised two-wheelers (41% bikes, 26% scooters). Cars accounted for 38% of total sales, whereas the rest was occupied by superbikes and supercars. Bikes on the platform were bought at an average price of Rs 43,360, while cars sold at an average price of Rs 5,76,969.
Somewhat surprisingly, petrol and CNG cars saw a dip in sales from 59% to 52% and 7% to 4% respectively from 2015 to 2016. Diesel vehicles, on the other hand, reported an increase in sales from 34% to 44%.
Hatchbacks also reported a drop in sales from 43% to 40%, while Sedan and SUVs almost remained at par to the previous year's numbers. MUVs reported a slight increase from 6% to 9%. The average time span of resold used automobiles was 5 years.
Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder and CEO Droom said, "While Indian brands and tie-ups such as Maruti SuzukiBSE -0.63 % and Hero emerged as the most-trusted brands, foreign manufacturers like Hyundai and Honda are fast catching up".
While Harley Davidson and KTM featured amongst the most popular superbikes with KTM Duke bagging the top spot, BMW and Audi shared the distinction of being the most in-demand supercars. Audi A4 again emerged as the most loved car for Delhi's rich and famous.

Online automobile dealer Droom upbeat on market potential

COIMBATORE, FEBRUARY 15:

Droom, which has emerged as the dominant online marketplace for automobiles, is aiming to double its annualised sales and gross merchandise value from about ₹1,500 crore at present to ₹2,500-3,000 crore by March 2017.

Claiming it to be the fastest growing consumer internet company in India, Sandeep Aggarwal, Droom’s founder and Chief Executive told BusinessLine that within 25 months of inception, the company registered a growth rate of 300 per cent.

Fast growth

“There is huge traction across all major metros and tier-II locations such as Coimbatore, Kochi and Vishakapatnam among others,” he said.
From just one city (New Delhi) at start in 2014, Droom has since strengthened its presence to cover 420 cities and towns in the country.
It is present in 86 cities in the south. Aggarwal plans to extend it to 150 by the close of this calendar year.
The company is targeting annualised gross sales of ₹4,500 to 5,000 crore by December 2017.
Aggarwal said, “The current experience of buying and selling an automobile is completely broken, antiquated and full of pitfalls. To address this, we took an innovative approach by bringing in more transparency, building trust and mitigating information asymmetry. It is technology driven; we have created tools and the pricing is centralised.”
Asked about the impact of demonetisation, he said, “The business dropped 45 per cent in October – November, but picked up in the months that followed. We registered a 25 per cent growth towards end-December and another 3 per cent in January.”
“We scroll through plenty of data and arrive at the price in a most transparent way.
The details are shared with the prospective buyer; we collect 2 per cent transaction charge from the buyer,” he said.

Funding details

The company has raised $45 million (₹325 crore approximately) in four rounds. Aggarwal said Droom is planning to raise the next round of capital in 2017. “It could happen in the next 6 months. We are looking at $50 million or so.”
The funds have gone into development of the company's technology platform, expansion in India and SE Asia and into building the leadership team.

This Valentine’s Season, Droom Gives Couples A Once-In-A-Lifetime Chance To Turn Their Baraat Into A SuperBaraat!

Droom, India’s pioneering online automobile transactional marketplace, just brought in a great excitement and an adrenaline rush in this year’s romantic season with its SuperBaraat campaign. Couples who are about to get married soon can register themselves on droom.in/superbaraat , a microsite launched particular to this effect. All they have to do is share their love stories which will be read by users on different social media platforms and evaluated by an independent panel of judges. Based on the social media responses and the judges’ review, a couple will be chosen where the groom gets a chance to ride into the wedding and have the vidaai in a supercar!

Only those couples who have their weddings before the 30th of April are eligible to participate in this contest. Whereas nominations are open till the end of February, the microsite will be launched on the 10th of February, on the occasion of Valentine’s Day.
In a further boost to the mood of love brewing in the air, Droom has also announced a mini-version of the campaign for those having their wedding on the 14th of February. The process remaining the same, couples would need to submit their entries by the evening of the 12th of February, which will then be judged and reviewed. The results will be declared on midnight of the 13th of February, and winners will have a supercar at their beck and call during their baraat/vidaai!
Commenting on the campaign, Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder and CEO, Droom said, “Supercars have always been an object of great fantasy, even more so today with their portrayal in movies and other shows. We decided to initiate the SuperBaraat campaign to celebrate this season of love, and gift a lucky couple an experience which they will never forget. Furthermore, the interesting combination of a conventional Indian baraat/vidaai with a flashy supercar is something even the attendees at the wedding will marvel at.”
The SuperBaraat campaign will begin on the 10th of February and hopes to get a huge response from love-struck couples vying for an experience of a lifetime. Whereas nominations are open till the end of February, Droom is already looking towards enabling the first SuperBaraat this Valentine’s Day.
Campaigns such as SuperBaraat transform weddings, which already are special occasions, into memories that resonates for a long time after the ceremonies are over.

Sandeep Aggarwal’s Droom wants to zoom towards an entire ecosystem around the car — can it make it?

The company has enough cash to sustain itself. But does it have a chance to make it big by serving the disorganised automobile retail industry?

One fine day in May 2014, Sandeep Aggarwal, founder of ShopClues, gets a call from investor and Beenos Group CEO Teruhide Sato who wants to meet him at Great Eastern Restaurant on Jackson Street in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Teruhide sounds excited about both the meeting and the setting. He animatedly informs Aggarwal that Barack Obama had chosen to visit this restaurant over others in San Francisco during his presidency. He also tells him that he is looking forward to hearing him talk about his next big business idea.

Their meeting began at 6 pm and went on till midnight until they were asked to leave the restaurant. They shifted to a Holiday Inn close by where the conversation continued well into the wee hours of the morning. Teruhide listened intently to Sandeep’s narrative about how he wanted to build a digital marketplace for pre-owned vehicles in India with a mobile-first strategy. In the end, Teruhide said, “You asked for $150,000 — I am ready to put in a million.”

Sandeep, who had spent the previous week preparing the business plan for Droom, was excited that it had been validated. The following week he met Itchak Friedman, Chaim Friedman, and Jonathan Friedman, investors from Lionbird Ventures which had invested in ShopClues. He managed to convince these investors as well, who agreed to put in $1,000,000. Says Sandeep,

With $2 million in Droom’s account, Sandeep began to expand its operations in July 2014. The two deals came as a morale booster for Sandeep who had to face the ignominy of getting arrested in the US in 2013 on insider trading charges; he was accused of leaking trade-related information when he worked as an analyst at an investment bank in San Francisco in 2011. While the case is still in court, Sandeep believes the arrest had an impact on him and that the only catharsis was in starting another company and reassuring himself that his ideas would still be able to raise money in the market.

So why did Droom's investors bet on this market? A report by the Indian Blue Book and Mahindra First Choice puts the size of the pre-owned car market in India at 3.3 million units per year. However, despite there being around 30,000 dealers just handling pre-owned cars, only 12 percent is organised.

The corresponding numbers for the two-wheeler market are five times the car market. Sandeep believes the combined size of the pre-owned vehicle market is worth over $100 billion. Even if the market size were to be $25 billion as per conservative estimates, it is worth going after, says Sandeep.

According to the Indian Blue Book, the market is 35 percent semi-organised and 19 percent unorganised, while consumer-to-consumer transactions make up 34 percent of the pie. Droom’s intentions were to get the semi-organised and unorganised into the basket. “Every company says it is going after 100 million Indians or more, but we first want 10 million loyal consumers,” Sandeep says.

Droom Today

Fast forward to 2017 and almost three years into the business, the company claims to have achieved a GMV run rate of Rs 1,500 crore. In its RoC filings, the company’s turnover is shown as Rs 17.2 crore in 2015–2016, up from Rs 9.2 crore in 2014–15. Its employee cost has gone up from Rs 9 crore to Rs 66 crore, with 220 people at present. The company’s current losses stand at Rs 14 crore.

The company claims it has one lakh businesses on its platform currently with 90 percent of its revenue coming from B2C (business-to-consumer) services and the rest from consumer-to-consumer services. “We are keeping our costs low,” says Sandeep, adding that of the money raised, he has spent less than 4.5 percent on marketing and that he would rather spend on building a tech and data sciences team. Says Sandeep

We haven’t spent any money from last round yet: Droom’s Sandeep Aggarwal

Projections of exponential revenue growth and profitability in the near term, plans of acquisitions and overseas expansion, and ambitions to grab the lion’s share of the market—ShopClues co-founder Sandeep Aggarwal has bullish claims about his second venture Droom, an online marketplace for buying and selling cars and two-wheelers, even though it is barely three years old.

In an interview with Techcircle, Aggarwal says the company saw strong growth in 2016 and will continue the momentum into 2017, ending the current calendar year with Rs 4,500-5,000 crore in annualised gross merchandise value (GMV) and turning profitable latest by February 2018. But Droom remains a frugal company, says Aggarwal, and it will raise the next round only to make sure that capital is not the reason why it can’t own 50-80% of the market. Excerpts:

What are Droom’s current offerings?
Droom is an online marketplace that acts as an enabler. We offer auctions, fixed prices and best offers. In 2016, we launched three ecosystem services: Orange Book Value, which is the first and only auto pricing engine in India; Droom History, the largest repository for used vehicles; and Droom Eco, a used vehicle inspection service.
As for features, we have a buyer protection plan, under which we can issue a refund if the user doesn’t like the vehicle after purchasing. We have ratings and reviews for buyers/sellers as well as vehicles, and these are arrived at using multiple parameters.

How are you competing with the offline market and other online players?
The existing players in the online space are either in the classifieds or the discovery space. But, with Droom, we became India’s first end-to-end transaction marketplace, providing tools that were missing in the ecosystem. When we started, people were thinking why the world needs another company but now it’s clear that we are creating a new category.

What is your business model?
Our main source of revenue is commission on vehicle sales on the platform. That is our bread and butter, and it accounts for 85-90% of our revenue.
Besides, some auto dealers want additional services, tools and features. For them, we have something called Pro-Seller premium subscription, for which they pay us Rs 15,000 per year; though small, it is pure profit. That makes up 5% of our total revenue.
With almost 12% of India’s advertising industry accounted for by the auto sector, we are also getting some ad revenue. Besides, we have started monetising Orange Book Value, which is a premium product.
How many listings do you have on your platform? What kind of transaction volumes are you seeing?
We have so far seen around 3.3 lakh listings, including both old and new vehicles. For the first two years, we were available only in the old vehicle category since we thought we were not going to add value in the new vehicle market. About 45 days back, we entered the new vehicle category. Today, we have the largest collection of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) on our platform.
As for transactions, in December 2016 we saw about 7,500 transactions on our platform, primarily for used vehicles.

What are your views on M&A in the space? Are you looking for acquisitions?
We will be looking for acquisitions in 2017 not for growth, net revenue or GMV, but for technology and acqui-hires. We will always look for cash acquisitions because we don’t want to dilute equity. If someone has a pricing algorithm, has aggregated automobile services using some kind of technology, or has a data warehousing team, we will be open for such acquisitions.
Our corporate development team has looked into 150 companies in the automobile ecosystem, and we have been in talks with 6-8 of them for the last three months. We may end up acquiring 2-3 companies in calendar year 2017. We have allocated Rs 30 crore-35 crore for the acquisitions.

Are you in talks to raise more funding?
We are a very frugal, data-driven company and we spend very little. We haven’t even started spending money from the Rs 200 crore that we raised last year. We have built this entire company from the first two seed rounds and the Series A round that was led by Lightbox Ventures. We will raise the next round only to make sure that capital is not the reason why we can’t own 50-80% of this market.
As for fresh funding, we have seen a lot of inbound interest in the last four months.

Do you have any plans for international expansion?
In 2017, we will look to expand internationally to Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines. We actually wanted to expand internationally in the last quarter of 2016, but that got delayed. By April, we will be in Indonesia and, hopefully, in every 45 days, we will be in a new country.

Will you be looking at new verticals in the coming year?
We have an ecosystem of services, including warranty, roadside assistance, insurance, car care and retailing. One of the things we are planning to launch this year is Droom Credit, a consumer loan product with a marketplace approach. When it comes to auto loans, there is a lot of time and paperwork involved, and we want to fix that problem. We also expect to add 12-15 OEMs in calendar year 2017, apart from three-wheelers and commercial vehicles.

How do you see 2017 panning out for Droom?
In 2016, Droom proved how it is different from online classifieds and discovery platforms. I think we will end FY2016-17 with Rs 2,000-2,500 crore in annualised run-rate, and exit calendar year 2017 with Rs 4,500-5,000 crore in annualised GMV.
In terms of revenue, we will clock Rs 60-75 crore by March 2017 in annualised run-rate, and Rs 125-150 crore in net revenue by December 2017 in terms of annual run-rate. Also, between November 2017 and February 2018, we should be fully profitable.

Droom expects Rs 75 cr revenue in FY'17

Droom, an online marketplace for automobiles, expects to close this fiscal with a revenue of Rs 75 crore on the back of strong sales on its platform for both new and used cars. Droom is expected to touch net annual revenues of Rs 60-75 crore by March 2017 with an annualised GMV in the range of INR 2,500-3,000 crore, Droom said in a statement. Droom is eyeing net annual revenues of Rs 125-150 crore by December 2017, it added.

"The company is targeting annualised GMV of INR 4,500-5,000 crore and net annual revenues of Rs 125-150 crore by December 2017, as it ramps up its operations to firmly consolidate its position as the best brand in the Indian online automobile market space," it said.
It added that orders placed through the platform grew from 8,232 units in 2015 to 49,974 units by the end of 2016.
"The transacted GMV on the platform also grew by 533 per cent, soaring from Rs 155 crore in 2015 to Rs 1,000 crore in 2016," it said.
The active seller base went up from 2,038 in 2015 to 15,619 in 2016.
"We aim to build upon this strong showing and continue driving massive growth for our platform through our value-driven, consumer-centric offerings," Droom founder and CEO Sandeep Aggarwal said.

Budget 2017: Automobile players want speedy implementation of GST

The automobile industry has been on a bumpy road in the last few months. When the demand for vehicles had finally started recovering, the country was hit with the demonetisation bomb which led to a slowdown in the demand again.
While the impact of demonetization was varied on different automobile companies, the industry's pace as definitely slowed down.

With about two weeks to go for the Buget, all eyes are on the Arun Jaitley to see what he may unleash to save the sector. Some players in the auto industry hope for quick implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) which has been pushed back to July 1, 2017 for now.
The industry also expects simplification of taxes and a reduction to drive up sales of new cars. They expect the government to push infrastructure investment even further.
Pravin Shah, President & Chief Executive (Automotive), Mahindra & Mahindra said, "Given the situation post November 8, we expect the Finance Minister to announce a well-defined , right and prudent budget with specific focus on infrastructure, manufacturing, taxation and provide rural stimuli to revive and boost consumer, business and investment confidence. In the short term the economy has been shaken and this budget will have to bring the economy back on growth track. Hence a bold and rational budget is what one can expect ."
He added, "Specific to the automotive industry, we do expect an announcement on the extension of incentives and infrastructure development support for electric vehicles.
Further, the political support which was so critical for GST has suddenly seemed to have waned in the aftermath of the demonetisation drive. Even in its present less-than-ideal form, the GST is a big game changer and the government must bring it back on top priority by giving adequate time and clarifications to the stakeholders so as not to cause disruption to business and economic activity at large."
Mehul Agrawal- Founder, resale car company Cars24 said there was too much disparity in used car taxation and policy across states and that simplification may reduce prices, fuel demand and drive better tax compliance.
"Simplification of taxes on used car across states in the form of GST. Presently, GST law is silent on the used cars segment. We wishe the rate for used cars should be lower than new cars, since the government would have already collected tax at the time of first point of sale (this is how it happens in VAT regime too) with lesser lifetime. Hence we believe the government should consider all these factors and maintain a parity while deciding the GST for used cars segment."
Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder, Droom said, "India must enhance various policies to ensure that capital is easily accessible to entrepreneurs. Having said that, government should not intervene when it comes to funds or bank loans. Money shall be coming to India and can be repatriated easier. Make foreign listing for any Indian company straightforward rather than the company having to incorporate itself in every country individually. Give R&D credit if someone is making innovative tech product."

35 Startups That Want to Make a Big Impact in 2017

With the dawn of 2017, BW Disrupt is delighted to present the list of 30 startups to watch out in 2017. Here is a brief description about all of them.

1. AddressHealth
Founded by Anand Lakshman in 2010, Bangalore-based AddressHealth has a vision to make pediatric care easily available by providing health care services via school and clinics.

2. Affimity
Founded by Ramana Venkata, Amar Singh and Parveen Mittal in 2014, Bengaluru-based Affimity is a social networking platform for people with similar interests in food, family, and digital life to connect and share their interests.

3. Altizon
Founded by Vinay Nathan, Ranjit Nair and Yogesh Kulkarni in 2013, Pune-based Altizon Systems is an Industrial Internet Platform company with a flagship platform named Datonis.

4. Applicate
Founded by Deepak Rewadi and Ranjeet Kumar, Delhi-based Applicate provides innovative solutions to solve complex business problems.

5. BabyBerry
Founded by Bala Venkatachalam, Subhashini Subramaniam and Dev Vig in 2014, Bangalore-based BabyBerry is an application to help parents through the journey of pregnancy to motherhood.

6. Cloudcherry
Founded by Vinod Muthukrishnan, Vijay Lakshmanan, Nagendra CL and Prem K Viswanath in 2013, Singapore-based Cloudcherry is offering customer experience management tools to customer-facing brands.

7. CollegeDekho
Founded by Ruchir Arora in 2010, Jaipur-based CollegeDekho is an online platform that uses counseling and advanced technology to help students work towards their career goals.

8. CreditVidya
Founded by Abhishek Agarwal and Rajiv Raj in 2013, Mumbai-based CreditVidya aims to eliminate traditional methods of credit assessment and re-build credit scoring with advanced machine learning techniques.

9. Cuemath
Founded by Manan Khurma in 2014, Bengaluru-based Cuemath is on a mission to make math engaging through mathematical puzzles and game-like skill levels with certified teachers.

10. CureJoy
Founded by Dikshant Dave and Srini Sharma in 2013, Bengaluru-based CureJoy is a platform to get information on holistic therapies and whole food nutrition from experts.

11. DocsApp
Founded by Satish Kannan and Enbasekar D in 2015, Bengaluru-based DocsApp connects users in India with specialist MD doctors within 30 minutes over a call or chat for consulting.

12. DrivoJoy
Founded by Vishwanath Kollapudi, Ravindra Akella and Aman Singhal in 2015, Bangalore-based Drivojoy provides bike repair services anytime, anywhere by certified mechanics.

13. Droom
Founded by Sandeep Aggarwal in 2014, Gurugram-based Droom is a marketplace for trading used automobiles and automobile services.

14. ePayLater
Founded by Aurko Bhattacharya, Prasannaa Murlidharan, Uday Somayajula, Shanmunathan Thiagaraja and Akshat Saxena in 2015, Mumbai-based ePayLater is a new-age version of credit cards where customers can purchase goods and pay later on online portals.

15. Faircent
Founded by Rajat Gandhi, Vinay Mathews and Nitin Gupta in 2013, Gurgaon-Based Faircent eliminates intermediaries and help borrowers and lenders connect directly to borrow money.

16. FarEye
Founded by Gaurav Srivastava, Kushal Nahata and Gautam Kumar in 2013, New-Delhi based FarEye is a mobile technology platform that helps logistics enterprises solve critical problems faced by them.

17. Fitpass
Founded by Akshay Verma, Arushi Verma in 2015, Delhi-based FitPass is a startup and fitness membership plan that enables its users to workout anywhere in 1000+ gyms and fitness studios.

18. FlexiLoans
Founded by Manish Lunia, Ritesh Jain, Deepak Jain, Abhishek Kothari in 2015, Mumbai-based FlexiLoans is a technology powered online marketplace to help SMEs avail loans to grow their businesses.

19. FlipClass
Founded by Vineet Dwivedi in 2013, Bangalore-based FlipClass is a marketplace to connect students with teachers across the country for home and online tutoring.

20. Flyrobe
Founded by Shreya Mishra, Pranay Surana and Tushar Saxena in 2015, Mumbai-based Flyrobe provides a platform to rent branded and designer clothes for any occasion at reasonable prices.

21. Foyr
Founded by Shailesh Goswami in 2014, Hyderabad-based Foyr is the go-to place for interior designing. The startup provides end-to-end services in the cities where they’re operational.

22. Glam Studios
Founded by Sadiya Naseem, Darakhshan Husain and Feeroz Khan in 2015, Delhi-based Glam Studios is a chain of salons that allows customers to book appointments online for quality services at affordable prices.

23. GolfLAN
Founded by Dhruv Verma in 2011, Delhi-based GolfLAN provides subscription services to play golf globally in courses without membership and make the game of golf more accessible and affordable.

24. GoPigeon
Founded by Deovrat Singh, Sourav Sarkar and Yeshu Singh in 2015, Karnataka-based GoPigeon is a technology enabled logistics management company for all your shipping needs.

25. GoZefo
Founded by Arjit Gupta, Himesh Joshi, Rohit Ramasubramanian and Dheeraj Nekkanti in 2015, Bangalore-based GoZefo is set to change the world of pre-owned furniture and appliance sales. They’re currently functional in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, and Mysore.

26. Headout
Founded by Varun Khona, Vikram Jit Singh and Suren Sultania in 2014, Bangalore-based Headout is an on-demand mobile marketplace that helps folks discover incredible experiences in 3 taps and 60 seconds.

27. Healthians
Founded by Deepak Sahni and Anuj Mittal in 2014, Gurugram-based Healthians.com is India’s largest health test @ home service, creating a new benchmark for quality and honest prices.

28. HealthifyMe
Founded by Tushar Vashisht and Sachin Shenoy in 2012, Bangalore-based HealthifyMe is a digital health startup with an aim to help millions of Indians on the fitness journey.

29. IndiaLends
Founded by Gaurav Chopra and Mayank Kachhawa in 2015, Delhi-based IndiaLends aims to make affordable credit accessible to the masses.

30. Jaypore
Founded by Puneet Chawla, Shilpa Sharma and Aarti Jesrani in 2011, New-Delhi based Jaypore is a platform for artisans and craftsmen from all over India to sell their products online at exceptional values.

31. Just Buy Live
Founded by Bharat Balachandran and Sahil Sani in 2015, Mumbai-based Just Buy Live is a B2R startup that enables retailers to purchase goods directly from brands along with amazing deals on their cutting-edge mobile application.

32. JustRide
Founded by Hemant Sah, Vasant Verma, Amit Sahu, Abhishek Mahajan and Ashwarya Pratap Singh in 2015, Bengaluru-based JustRide offers car rental services on an hourly, daily, and weekly basis for users to self-drive.

33. KredX
Founded by Manish Kumar, Puneet Agarwal and Anurag Jain in 2015, Bangalore-based KredX offers opportunities to SMEs to raise fast working capital.

34. Locus.sh
Founded by Geet Garg and Nishith Rastogi in 2015, Bengaluru-based Locus.sh is a highend logistics automation platform that provides end-to-end delivery route planning and tracking solutions.

35. Mad Street Den
Founded by Ashwini Asokan and Anand Chandrasekaran in 2013, Chennai-based Mad Street Den is a Computer Vision & AI startup whose first brainchild Vue.ai is one of the world's first AI solutions for retail.

Droom offers discounts to celebrate its 2nd anniversary

Customers can avail up to Rs 10,000 discount on scooters and up to Rs 50,000 off on cars.

NEW DELHI: India’s online automobile transactional marketplace Droom is offering discounts to celebrate its second anniversary.

The sale is scheduled from January 7-12, 2017 in major markets such as Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai and Ahmedabad.

Scooters, bikes and cars from manufacturers such as Honda, Yamaha, Mahindra and Mahindra, Suzuki, Hero, Hyundai, Audi, and Toyota will be available at lower prices under Droom’s second anniversary sale.

In addition, Droom is also offering 50 percent discount on Roadside Service Assistance and 30 percent rebate on warranty.

Rishab Malik, CO – Founder and VP – Business Development, Droom said, "The second anniversary sale is our way of sharing the joy of success with our consumers. The deals and discounts on offer are sure to delight all our users, especially those who are waiting to own a pre-owned vehicle from a trusted platform."

Customers can avail up to Rs 10,000 discount on scooters and up to Rs 50,000 off on cars.

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Droom ties up with Axis bank to provide loans on new, used cars

Loans will be provided for up to 85 percent of the value of the car with a tenure of 1-5 years. Furthermore, loans on used cars can be availed on vehicles up to the age of 10 years at the end of the loan tenure.

Indian online automobile transactional marketplace Droom has tied up with Axis Bank to provide quick sanction of loans on both new as well as used cars.

Loans will be provided for up to 85 percent of the value of the car with a tenure of 1-5 years. Furthermore, loans on used cars can be availed on vehicles up to the age of 10 years at the end of the loan tenure.

Rishab Malik, Co-Founder and VP, Business Development, Droom said, "The recent collaboration is another step in our attempt to provide holistic facilities to our users and enhance the car-buying experience."

"Axis bank is globally recognised as one of the most reputed financing organisations with a successful track record of disbursing loans in a quick turn-around time. We hope that faster loan disbursal mechanism will provide customers with a buying experience that is hassle-free, secure and convenient."

"Axis Bank always endeavours to provide digital solutions to its customers, providing them enhanced customer experience and ease. This valued partnership with Droom is yet another step in our digital offerings," said Jagdeep Mallareddy, Head Retail Lending, Axis Bank.

Online auto mart Droom looking to raise $50 m in 6 months

Online automobiles marketplace Droom is looking at raising another $50 million over the next six months, in a bid to strengthen its technology play. The company plans to utilise the funds to expand its data science and analytics vertical.

Droom is also planning to use artificial intelligence (AI) to make it easier for users to find and compare the price of vehicles, thus making conversions faster on its site.

Acquisitions planned

Part of the funds will also be used to acquire start-ups working in the AI space too, said Sandeep Agarwal, founder and CEO of Droom.

The company, founded in 2014, has so far raised about $45 million from investors like Beenext (Singapore) and Japanese venture fund Digital Garage.

Agarwal, founder of e-commerce firm ShopClues, in which he is a major single shareholder, said that in a span of just two years Droom has been able to claim the position of the sixth largest online company as well as the largest marketplace for automobiles.

He claims that Droom has been able to beat competitors CarTrade and CarDekho in the automobile space, in terms of revenues and also the number of transactions. Agarwal told BusinessLine that the company is looking to clock a GMV (gross merchandise value) of Rs. 5,000 crore by the end of next year.

Its current GMV is Rs. 1,600 crore, of which Rs. 35 crore is the actual revenue of the company. Droom, which has all kind of vehicles from two-wheelers to helicopters listed on its website, has three revenue streams-automobile services, advertising, and auto-dealer/subscription model. "All the three segments (revenue) are doing well for us. This year, we expect the automobile services (10 per cent of the total revenue) and subscription model (15 per cent of revenue), to grow faster.

"I can see the subscription model to be at 30-35 per cent of the total earnings. It was at 5 per cent last year," Agarwal said, adding there are about 82,000 dealers on its site, of which about 12,000 are active users and pay about Rs. 15,000 per year as subscription.

C2C on the cards

The company, which so far had focussed on B2B business and B2C, is also looking to expand its services in the C2C space, where consumers can sell their vehicles directly to another. Players like Olx and Quikr already provide this service.

"Our competitors are either discovery or listing platforms, but we are the first transaction-based company and we are building data science and analytics to our advantage," Agarwal said. Talking about future services, Agarwal said the company would be using data science to improve its services.

For example, it has launched ‘Droom History’, a feature from which any person can get data about a vehicle’s background, right from its make to whether the vehicle has ever met with an accident, to information related to vehicle’s insurance, loan history, theft history among others.

Droom claims to have over 83,000 B2C sellers; 25,000 products; 3,21,000 listings on its site; and Rs. 6,555 crore in listed gross merchandise value (GMV).

The company plans to become profitable latest by February 2018. It claims to have enabled 55,000 transactions so far.

In addition, the company is planning to come out with a quarterly report on the automobile industry and plans to sell the data to industry players and consumers, so that people can expedite their purchases and also get "genuine" as well as "accurate" reviews for a particular vehicle.

Droom launches India's first national repository for used cars

Monickered 'Droom History', it curates historical data to deliver in-depth information about a vehicle's background

In a first for the country, online marketplace for pre-owned vehicles Droom has launched a national repository for used vehicles. Monickered 'Droom History', it curates historical data to deliver in-depth information about a vehicle's background to address issues related to a vehicle's safety.

"The mark for used automobiles in India does not match up to those in the US and Western Europe because of lack of trust, owing to unavailability of verified information about a pre-owned vehicle," says founder & CEO of Droom, Sandeep Aggarwal.

"With Droom History, we are trying to provide vital vehicle-related information to prospective buyers within minutes, fostering greater trust and transparency in this segment," he adds.

The process of generating the Droom History report for a vehicle has been made simple. All users have to do is enter the vehicle's VIN or registration number and check for the availability of the report. If the vehicle report is available in Droom's database, users can make an online payment to get the report within half an hour.

With this, the company has vehicle information in over 18 unique data fields from 1000+ RTOs across the country. It currently has information about more than 19 crore private and commercial vehicles in its database.

"The used vehicle market in India often faces issues such as low transparency and a distinct lack of trust between buyers and sellers. We aim to plug this information gap with Droom History," says Senior Director - Product and Technology at Droom, Somendra S. Rathore.

"Integrating disparate IT systems and producing our own data science and machine tools over the past nine months has been a colossal task, but we are confident that India will embrace a more digitally-driven economy," he adds.

Droom Launches national repository for used vehicles
Financial Express | Droom in news
Financial Express | Droom in news
Droom launches repository for used vehicles

Indian online automobile transactional marketplace Droom has launched the Droom History - an unbiased report which curates historical data available through various authorised data providers to deliver in-depth information about a vehicle’s background.

Generated using Droom’s proprietary technology, the report will address issues related with a vehicle’s safety, trust, and value.

Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder & CEO, Droom, said, "Unlike USA and Western Europe, India is a low trust market, especially for used automobiles. Many aspects of a pre-owned vehicle, such as ownership history, title dispute, and vehicle-related issues, are non-reliable. This is largely due to the unavailability of verified information about a pre-owned vehicle. With Droom History, we are making India’s largest information repository for used vehicles."

"By providing a report on vital vehicle-related information to a prospective buyer within minutes, we aim to foster greater trust and transparency in the used automobile segment."

Droom constantly collects and updates vehicle information in over 18 unique data fields from 1000+ RTOs across the country. Droom History currently has information about more than 19 crore private and commercial vehicles such as two-wheelers, cars, taxi, trucks etc in its database, with real-time information of nearly 6 million vehicles from the Delhi-NCR region alone.

During the first phase of the launch, Droom will put up listings with valid RC numbers on its platform. The front-end will also be soon opened to users, giving them access to the most accurate, real-time information about used vehicles.

Somendra S Rathore, Senior Director, Product and Technology, Droom, added, "The used vehicle market in India often faces issues such as low transparency and a distinct lack of trust between buyers and sellers. With Droom History, we aim to plug this information gap by making a standardised, central repository for used vehicle history."

"Integrating disparate IT systems and producing our own data science and machine tools over the past nine months has been a colossal task, but we’re confident that our hard work will pay off and help India embrace a more digitally-driven economy."

The process of generating the Droom History report for a vehicle will be fairly simple. A user will have to do is enter the vehicle’s VIN or registration number and check for the availability of the report.

If the vehicle report is available in Droom’s database, users can make an online payment to get the report sent to their registered email address within half an hour. The information can then be leveraged by users to make better purchases, ensuring the security of their investment and offering them peace of mind while purchasing a used vehicle.

Droom launches 'History' to help second-hand vehicle buyers

Droom, an online marketplace for automobiles, has launched 'Droom History' which will provide prospective second-hand vehicle buyers a comprehensive report on the product's background.

"Droom History is an unbiased report which curates historical data available through various authorised data providers to deliver in-depth information about a vehicle's background.

"Generated using our proprietary technology, the report will address issues related with a vehicle's safety, trust, and value," Droom Founder and CEO Sandeep Aggarwal told reporters here.

He added that unlike the US and Western Europe, India is a low trust market, especially for used automobiles.

"Many aspects of a pre-owned vehicle, such as ownership history, title dispute, and vehicle-related issues, are non-reliable. This is largely due to the unavailability of verified information about a pre-owned vehicle," he said.

With Droom History, there will be an information repository for used vehicles and will help foster greater trust and transparency in the used automobile segment, he said.

Droom History will have information about more than 19 crore private and commercial vehicles like cars, two-wheelers, taxi and trucks in its database with real-time information of nearly 6 million vehicles from the Delhi-NCR region alone.

During the first phase of the launch, Droom will put up listings with valid RC numbers on its platform. The front-end will also be soon opened to users, giving them access to the most accurate, real-time information about used vehicles.

Users will have to enter the vehicle's VIN or registration number and check for availability of the report. If the vehicle report is available in Droom's database, it will be sent to their registered email address.

"The information can then be leveraged by users to make better purchases, ensuring the security of their investment and offering them peace of mind while purchasing a used vehicle," he said.

Droom launches History to help second hand vehicle buyers

Droom History enables buyers and sellers to access historical information of a vehicle, derived from various sources and presented in a report-like format A user has to simply key-in the vehicle’s registration number and will get details such as the date of purchase, past accidents, change of ownership, service history, etc.

Automobile marketplace and services platform Droom on Thursday unveiled a data repository of used vehicles in India called Droom History. The product enables buyers and sellers to access historical information of a vehicle, derived from various sources and presented in a report-like format.

A user has to simply key-in the vehicle’s registration number and will get details such as the date of purchase, past accidents, change of ownership, service history, etc. Droom claims it has data for 190 million private and commercial vehicles currently in use.

While the service is currently free, Droom expects to put a fee on it in the future, said founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Sandeep Aggarwal.

The company is investing in services—having launched vehicle price calculator Orange Book Value and vehicle inspection services under Eco—and expects to monetize some of them going forward, Mint reported on 1 December.

"We are creating an ecosystem for services which go along with the transaction of a used vehicle. In the near future we will be launching something called Droom Credit, where an auto loan decision will be taken in 30 seconds completely digitized with the help of UID," said Aggarwal.

Droom launches 'History' to help second-hand vehicle buyers

Droom, an online marketplace for automobiles, has launched 'Droom History' which will provide prospective second-hand vehicle buyers a comprehensive report on the product's background.

"Droom History is an unbiased report which curates historical data available through various authorised data providers to deliver in-depth information about a vehicle's background.

"Generated using our proprietary technology, the report will address issues related with a vehicle's safety, trust, and value," Droom Founder and CEO Sandeep Aggarwal told reporters here.

He added that unlike the US and Western Europe, India is a low trust market, especially for used automobiles.

"Many aspects of a pre-owned vehicle, such as ownership history, title dispute, and vehicle-related issues, are non-reliable. This is largely due to the unavailability of verified information about a pre-owned vehicle," he said.

With Droom History, there will be an information repository for used vehicles and will help foster greater trust and transparency in the used automobile segment, he said.

Droom History will have information about more than 19 crore private and commercial vehicles like cars, two-wheelers, taxi and trucks in its database with real-time information of nearly 6 million vehicles from the Delhi-NCR region alone.

During the first phase of the launch, Droom will put up listings with valid RC numbers on its platform. The front-end will also be soon opened to users, giving them access to the most accurate, real-time information about used vehicles.

Users will have to enter the vehicle's VIN or registration number and check for availability of the report. If the vehicle report is available in Droom's database, it will be sent to their registered email address.

"The information can then be leveraged by users to make better purchases, ensuring the security of their investment and offering them peace of mind while purchasing a used vehicle," he said.

Droom launches India's first national repository for used vehicles

In a first for the country, online marketplace for pre-owned vehicles Droom has launched a national repository for used vehicles. Monickered 'Droom History', it curates historical data to deliver in-depth information about a vehicle's background to address issues related to a vehicle's safety.

"The market for used automobiles in India does not match up to those in the US and Western Europe because of lack of trust, owing to unavailability of verified information about a pre-owned vehicle," says founder & CEO of Droom, Sandeep Aggarwal. "With Droom History, we are trying to provide vital vehicle-related information to prospective buyers within minutes, fostering greater trust and transparency in this segment," he adds.

The process of generating the Droom History report for a vehicle has been made simple. All users have to do is enter the vehicle's VIN or registration number and check for the availability of the report. If the vehicle report is available in Droom's database, users can make an online payment to get the report within half an hour.

With this, the company has vehicle information in over 18 unique data fields from 1000+ RTOs across the country. It currently has information about more than 19 crore private and commercial vehicles in its database.

"The used vehicle market in India often faces issues such as low transparency and a distinct lack of trust between buyers and sellers. We aim to plug this information gap with Droom History," says Senior Director - Product and Technology at Droom, Somendra S. Rathore. "Integrating disparate IT systems and producing our own data science and machine tools over the past nine months has been a colossal task, but we are confident that India will embrace a more digitally-driven economy," he adds.

Droom expects next phase of growth will come from two-wheelers, services segment

Droom expects net revenue to increase by December 2017, owing to rise in sales of two-wheelers, and is planning to charge for some of its services that are free currently

Delhi-based Droom Technology Pvt. Ltd, which runs an online marketplace for pre-owned vehicles, expects the next phase of growth to come from two-wheelers and the services segment, founder and chief executive officer Sandeep Aggarwal said. The company is looking to achieve profitability by late 2017 or early 2018.

The start-up claims it has a 50% market share in online vehicle sales. It offers a range of used as well as new cars, motorcycles, scooters and cycles on its platform and provides car rental services and a host of other services around vehicle loans and insurance, roadside assistance and tools to determine the fair value of a pre-owned automobile.

Droom expects net revenue—which it counts as the total revenue earned from sales commission—to increase from the current Rs35 crore to Rs150 crore by next December. This is led by a rise in sales of two-wheelers over the last few months in non-metropolitan markets.

The company charges 2% commission on the sale price of a two-wheeler and 1.5% of a four-wheeler. Commission revenue from four-wheelers are about 70% of Droom’s annual revenue in terms of gross merchandise value (GMV).

"We are seeing a massive adoption of our offering across different cities and expect this momentum to continue," said Aggarwal. Late last year, the company went on an acquisition spree, bringing sellers in tier-II and tier-III cities on to its platform. Droom claims it has over 200,000 sellers, both private and institutional, in as many as 416 cities.

"Proximity is a major influencing factor in a second-hand car deal. We have seen over 98% of all transactions happen in a 60-km radium," said Aggarwal, adding consumers were warming up to its service in cities like Ludhiana, Chandigarh, Surat, Jaipur and Vijayawada.

Droom competes with online classified portals OLX and Quikr and discovery platforms such as CarDekho.com and Carwale.com.

Droom had said it will achieve an annualized GMV of Rs3,000 crore by March and Rs5,000 crore by December next year, according to a Mint report in September. It currently sells around Rs1,600 crore worth of vehicles in a year.

The company is also seeing higher adoption of services by users and is planning to charge for some of its free services going forward.

"For every 40 products sold, we sell about 10 services. We expect this to double up by March and further up by December," said Aggarwal. The company plans to launch two more services in the near future: the first will provide a detailed history of used vehicles, including change in ownership and past accidents, and the second will help consumers get auto loans quick.

Started in 2014 by Aggarwal, who also founded e-commerce marketplace ShopClues, Droom has raised $45 million till date, of which about $25-35 million were raised from early-stage technology fund Beenext and Japan’s start-up investment and incubation firm Digital Garage in June this year.

Droom projects its net revenue of Rs. 125-150 crore by December 2017

India's pioneering online automobile transactional marketplace Droom is aiming to double its annualized sales and gross merchandise value from about Rs. 1,500 crore to Rs. 2,500-3,000 crore by March 2017 and Rs. 5,000 crore by December 2017.

The company has also announced that hitting this target will result in a proportional enhancement in net revenue from Rs. 60-75 crore to Rs. 125 crore-Rs. 150 crore.

Droom's four different revenue streams will help the company achieve its target. These include its core transactional platform of vehicle transactions, premium subscription charges, advertising and selling of products and services developed in-house, such as its highly popular algorithmic pricing engine Orange Book Value, auto inspection-verification service provider ECO and Quick Sell. Moreover, Droom's consumer-to-consumer sales will be a major contributor to the increased revenue rather than business-to-consumer transactions going forward.

"Our services have generated healthy revenue, with more than 15 percent of our sellers having signed on for the subscription services and we expect these figures to increase to 40 percent by December 2017. By December 2017, we expect to achieve annualized gross sales of Rs. 4,500-5,000 crore, with a net revenue projected at about Rs. 125-150 crore. Interestingly, C2C has been a bright spot for us lately, and we see it as a significant contributor to our balance sheet," said Founder and CEO Droom, Sandeep Aggarwal.

Droom is also already in talks with potential investors to raise USD 50 million in its next round of funding, estimated to close early next year. It has already raised about USD 45 million across four rounds, from a clutch of investors, including venture capital firms Lightbox and Beenext, ecommerce operator Beenos, Japan's Digital Garage, Hong Kong-based investment company Integrated Asset Management, and Axis Capital. With next round of funding, the company also plans to expand South East Asian countries.

India's domestic automobile sector has grown immensely to emerge as the third largest in the world, valued at about USD 125 billion, with an expected jump of USD 75 billion by 2020. Droom's vision is to create, promote and increase share of the online segment in automobile transactions, which presently is at one percent of the overall figure. Expected to grow until eight percent over the next three to four years, Droom's strategic decisions are bound to help the organization scale the heights of success and for the sector to boom at large.

Droom aims to attain 100% growth in its net revenue by Dec 2017

Droom’s four different revenue streams will help the company achieve its target. These include its core transactional platform of vehicle transactions, premium subscription charges, advertising and selling of products and services developed in-house, informed the company.

Indian online automobile transactional marketplace Droom is aiming to double its annualized sales and gross merchandise value from about Rs 1,500 crore to Rs 2,500-3,000 crore by March 2017 and Rs 5,000 crore by December 2017.

The company has also announced that hitting this target will result in a proportional enhancement in net revenue from Rs 60-75 crore to Rs 125 crore-Rs 150 crore.

Droom’s four different revenue streams will help the company achieve its target. These include its core transactional platform of vehicle transactions, premium subscription charges, advertising and selling of products and services developed in-house, informed the company.

Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder & CEO, Droom, said, "Our services have generated healthy revenue, with more than 15% of our sellers having signed on for the subscription services and we expect these figures to increase to 40% by December 2017. By December 2017, we expect to achieve annualized gross sales of Rs 4,500-5,000 crore, with a net revenue projected at about Rs 125-150 crore. Interestingly, C2C has been a bright spot for us lately, and we see it as a significant contributor to our balance sheet.

Droom is also already in talks with potential investors to raise $50 Million in its next round of funding, estimated to close early next year. It has already raised about $45 million across four rounds, from a clutch of investors. With next round of funding, the company also plans to expand South East Asian countries.

Campaign logic: Allaying scapegoat fears

In its new ad campaign, used car marketplace Droom tells the buyer that she would pay the right price by using its app

Brand: Droom Budget: Rs 12 crore Agency: Contract Advertising Buying second-hand goods, more so expensive possessions, involves a leap of faith in India, given the general feeling of suspicion towards and lack of trust in the seller. No wonder, traditionally the transaction would take place between people known to each other rather than perfect strangers. But how do companies operating in the nascent but rapidly growing online space solve this old riddle? A new advertising campaign comprising three TV commercials of online used car marketplace Droom tries to tackle ...

Geared Down for Now
Tips to create your start-up by Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder - ShopClues & Droom
et now | Droom in news
Droom wants $50 million in its boot in the next round

Online marketplace for used automobiles and auto services Droom has begun early talks with potential investors, with the two-year-old venture targeting $30-50 million in its next round of funding, expected to close early next year.

The Gurgaon and Singapore-registered company has, till date, raised about $45 million across four rounds, from a clutch of investors, including venture capital firms Lightbox and Beenext, ecommerce operator Beenos, Japan's Digital Garage, Hong Kong-based investment company Integrated Asset Management, and Axis Capital Given that the company already counts a number of prominent investors that are Chinese in origin, the early players that have thrown in their hats for the new round of equity financing, are also believed to be from the same region, including Hong Kong, or have deep links to the country's pool of investors, according to sources with direct knowledge of the developments.

Sandeep Aggarwal, chief executive of Droom, declined to comment when contacted by ET. The company competes with the likes of Warburg Pincus and Temasek-backed CarTrade and Google Capital and Hillhouse Capital-backed CarDekho, among others. The discussions also come at a time when there has been some uptick in Series B and above rounds, after a lethargic 12-15 months that saw investors put away their cheque books, while at the same time, urge portfolio companies to focus on unit economics and show paths to profitability.

In a conversation with ET earlier, Aggarwal, who had earlier cofounded online managed marketplace ShopClues, had said that Droom's gross annualised sales were about Rs 1,500 crore with the company targeting Rs 2,500-3,000 crore in GMV by the end of the fiscal ending March 2017.

"By December 2017, we expect to do annualised gross sales of Rs 4,500-Rs 5,000 crore, with December net revenue projected at about Rs 125 crore-Rs 150 crore," Aggarwal said. Net revenue for year ending March 2017, according to the CEO, is expected to be about Rs 60 crore-Rs 75 crore."C2C is now picking up for us, and we see it contributing a bit more to our balance sheet than B2C going forward. Apart from that our services is expected to grow faster than automobile sales," Aggarwal told ET.

The company has four different revenue streams -its core transaction platform, premium subscription services, advertising, and in-house developed enterprise products, such as algorithmic pricing engine Orange Book Value and auto inspection and verification service provider Eco. "About 15% of our sellers have signed on for the subscription services, and we expect this to go up to 40% by December 2017," Aggarwal added.

According to industry estimates, the country's domestic automobile sector, including services, is the third-largest in the world, valued at about $125 billion, and is expected to touch $250 billion by 2020. However, the online segment currently contributes less than 1% to the overall figures, which is expected to grow to 8% over the next three to four years.

Don’t be a ‘bakra’ says Droom’s new ad campaign for Orange Book Value

The animated TVCs, conceptualised by Contract Advertising aim to help consumers in ascertaining the fair market value of any used vehicle within seconds

Buying or selling a pre-owned vehicle can be a big hassle, especially when it comes to the pricing. But what if consumers could get a fair price of a vehicle within 10 seconds, right at their fingertips? This unique proposition offered by Orange Book Value (OBV), Droom’s proprietary algorithmic pricing engine, is what the recently-launched TVC campaign highlights. With three quirky animated videos, the latest TVCs from Droom underline why OBV is the perfect tool that empowers consumers and helps them in ascertaining the fair market value of any used vehicle within seconds. The importance of OBV as a benchmark price when buying or selling used vehicles is driven home with the brand’s sharp tagline, ‘Resale ka MRP’. This ease of usage and trust factor has driven great user traction, and has seen nearly 90 million pricing queries generated through OBV’s web and mobile platforms till date.

Speaking on the launch, Sandeep Aggarwal, founder & CEO, Droom, said, "With no definitive pricing standards for pre-owned vehicles, buying and selling a used automobile in India was quite a big hassle earlier. This is what OBV, with its data science-driven approach, addresses. These ads highlight how OBV empowers consumers when making used vehicle transactions. By generating the fair market value of any used vehicle within 10 seconds, OBV ensures that no one can make a fool, or 'bakra', out of consumers, and helps in ending the debate on ‘used gaadi’ rates!"

The three videos feature an animated lion which explains to viewers how OBV works, what its value proposition is, and why users should choose OBV to get an unbiased, independent and data-driven price for pre-owned vehicles. With the videos, already having received a great viewer reception online, the TVC campaign will allow Droom to reach out to even more consumers and educate them on the benefits of OBV. The company is spending INR 25 crores on the marketing to reach users.

Team Contract Advertising said, "Buying or selling a used car is usually accompanied by a feeling of inadequacy as neither party is sure that they have got the best deal. It’s easy for the lesser informed party to get short-changed – or as the saying goes, made a ‘bakra’. OBV makes valuation of used cars so simple, quick and objective that a deal can be reached within seconds. So, nobody can make a ‘bakra’ out of you. That’s the simple idea behind this campaign."

Using OBV to determine the value of a vehicle is very simple. All users have to do is select their purpose (buying/selling), select vehicle category, and parameters (make, model, year, condition, trim, and km driven etc) in order to get an independent, unbiased and data-driven report on the fair value of any vehicle.

Droom zooms to greater heights; expands its services to 200 cities

India's pioneering online automobile transactional platform Droom has announced the expansion of its services into 200 cities. The latest milestone, achieved in barely 19 months since its operational launch, was driven largely by the greater adoption of Droom's tech-driven platform which makes by buying and selling vehicles more transparent and convenient for users across the country.

"I believe there is a massive opportunity for technological innovation in the Indian automobile space, as can be seen by the growth and the user traction witnessed by Droom since its launch. Through our unique, tech-centric approach, we have been addressing major market gaps and making the automobile buying and selling experience smoother and more convenient," said Co-Founder and VP Business Development Droom, Rishab Malik.

"Our dedicated focus on technology has made it possible for us to coordinate all of our operations from our headquarters. We are currently the only player in the e-commerce industry in hyperlocal market to have achieved such scale without having to deploy people in any other city," added Rishab.

In addition to establishing itself as the preferred online portal for buying and selling vehicles in major geographies, Droom's digital-first marketplace approach has also received great response from users in emerging markets from Tier I to tier III cities.

This has allowed the brand to rapidly expand its services in multiple cities through its extensive dealer network without having to establish a physical presence. Droom has successfully received orders from Ludhiana, Ahmedabad, Roorkee, Jaipur, Bhatinda, Thane, Chandigarh, Meerut, Nasik, Agra, Udaipur, Karnal to name a few.

Having launched its operations in January 2015, the exponential growth and scale since witnessed by Droom has firmly established it as a leading player in the Indian online automobile industry.

Droom currently has more than 78K+ B2C dealers selling 25K+ products to users through its platform. With 121K+ vehicle listings and GMV worth more than Rs. 6,555 crore already listed, Droom will be looking to build on its success by expanding into more geographies and markets, both India and abroad.

Droom spends Rs. 25 crore on its media campaign for Orange Book Value

Anyone who has ever sold a vehicle, or bought a pre-owned one, knows the hassles related to the most important aspect of the deal – the pricing. This gap is what makes Droom’s Orange Book Value, an algorithmic pricing engine, such a disruptive phenomenon in the automotive resale space. To firmly establish OBV’s game-changing stance as an industry benchmark in the realm of automobile buying and selling, Droom has rolled out its mega marketing campaign titled ‘Resale Ka MRP’. With a massive budget of INR 25 crore, Droom is betting big on the dedicated 360-degree integrated media blitz to enhance consumer salience about OBV and how it can completely alter the dynamics of the industry.

The idea behind the logo is that through our communications, we are passing a message that the price of used vehicle should be same for seller and buyer, reducing the negotiations between them and OBV provides that required pricing standard. The two dots in the middle of O in OBV signifies eyes and the two upper and lower halves of O signify the smiles of buyer and seller respectively. We have associated with orange color since start and we have maintained the same in the new logo for the energy and warmth it signifies. We have added blue color which signifies trust, peace, intelligence and loyalty to provide appeal to both sellers and buyers. The fonts and typeface has been chosen to be viewer friendly as well emit authority of being the used product pricing standard.

Speaking on the announcement, Sandeep Aggarwal, founder and CEO, Droom, said, "With the demand of pre-owned vehicles in the country outstripping that of new vehicles, there was a pressing need for an objective pricing mechanism. Through its data science-based approach, Orange Book Value gives a fair market value of a used vehicle under 10 seconds. With the ‘Resale Ka MRP’ campaign, we wish to underline how this algorithmic engine does away with all the discrepancies that have plagued this segment so far with non - standard pricing. We are confident of the game-changing potential of OBV and have therefore decided to support it with a dedicated media blitz that will enable more and more consumers and auto dealers to leverage the 21st century tech and data science pricing tool."

Team Contract, the ad agency behind the concept of the OBV TVC, added, "The Diwali season is a time when every brand is trying to enter consumer’s mind space with gifting and home improvement ideas. But Diwali is also a time when friends get together and conversations take every direction. We decided to use an interaction between friends to showcase how opinions can often differ when it comes to agreeing on the value of a used car. Valuation of a used car is such a subjective and open discussion that there is hardly ever an easy agreement on it. This film beautifully captures one such conversation at a Diwali get together, and strongly underlines how a concept such as OBV can make this debate obsolete!"

Droom’s latest marketing initiative kicks off with the launch of an OBV Diwali video, which revolves around a Diwali-time discussion between friends about the value of a pre-owned car, as well as two animated ‘how-to’ videos about OBV. With the campaign already maintaining a sustained presence through social media platforms such as Facebook and Youtube, Droom will be following it up with a 360-degree campaign comprising TVCs, radio and outdoor media, and digital media.
Using OBV to determine the value of a vehicle is very simple. All users have to do is select their purpose (buying/selling), select vehicle category, and parameters (make, model, year, condition, trim, and km driven etc) in order to get an independent, unbiased and data-driven report on the fair value of any vehicle. This ease of usage and trust factor has driven great user traction, and has seen nearly 90 million pricing queries generated through OBV’s web and mobile platforms till date.

Taking Pride in Pre-owned Vehicles

Droom, an online marketplace to buy and sell used cars, bikes, yachts and even private jets is today a Rs 1,200 crore company. Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder & CEO, Droom, talks about the strategies that went into achieving this

Q] Droom is planning to invest Rs 100 crore on its promotional campaign this year. Tell us more about your plans.

We have already started spending a part of the Rs 100 crore. We will spend around Rs 40 crore on our TVC, Rs 20 crore in various ATL-BTL activities and another Rs 40 crore on Digital, out of which two-thirds will be invested in Social Media and videos. We recently completed shooting our campaign for TV, Outdoor and Radio which will run for around 45 days. From November 1, we will launch our next set of ads for TV, Outdoor, Print and Radio. The third set of ads will be launched sometime in March. Through our campaigns, we aim to instill and increase the joy of owning pre-owned vehicles.

Q] You recently announced that Droom would also sell new cars. What advantage will Droom have over e-commerce players who are already in the field?

Most e-commerce players in the market today sell all kinds of products because their gross merchandise value (GMV) has dried up and they aren’t seeing growth. For example, an average order size of Shopclues is roughly Rs 1,900. For Flipkart and Snapdeal, my guess is that their average order size will be around Rs 3,500. So now, when you suddenly sell a motorcycle or car, your average selling price becomes Rs 75,000 or Rs 3 lakh. At a time when the GMV growth of these companies is dissipating, many start selling tyres, gold or even vehicles. However, we did not want to get into offering new vehicles initially, because we thought we wanted to go there when we could add some value. Currently, the value we are adding is – a 50% loan guarantee and a promotional campaign where there is 0% interest rate, a test drive at your doorstep and tie-ups with companies to give away freebies. We are also working on several innovations which we will soon announce. The moment of truth in buying and selling vehicles is trust, transparency and pricing, and that’s what we are communicating through our marketing messages.

Q] Since trust is a crucial factor, how are you convincing consumers to buy products from Droom?

We have built a lot of things which were not there in the Indian eco-system. For example, we created Orange Book Value, India’s first and only algorithmic pricing engine. Before this, valuing used vehicles was like pulling a number out of a hat. We spent 13 months and millions of dollars and have created an extremely advanced algorithmic pricing engine. Based on the make, model, year, kilometers done and condition of the vehicle, I can tell you the value of the vehicle. In the last eight months alone, we have seen 85 million pricing queries through the tool. We created another app called Eco. Any mechanic can download Eco, take an online exam and become an Eco-certified technician, following which he will start receiving orders from Droom. We have also launched a program called Full Circle Trust Score that uses data sciences to build trust.

Q] Droom offers products ranging from cycles to even yachts and private jets. What kind of reception has it got?

We offer vehicles like jets, yachts and even premium cars like a 1937 Austin. We have 1970s Lambretta scooters too, along with vintage and superbikes. Droom has been commercially available since January 2015. Today, we are actually doing Rs 1200 crore in analysed GMV. In my view, there is no other consumer Internet company in any category that has gone from 0 to Rs 1200 crore in gross revenue in 12 months. Secondly, our GDP is growing at the rate of 7%, new vehicles are growing at the rate of 9%, used vehicles are growing at the rate of 15%, e-commerce is growing at the rate of 30%-35%. And Droom, even at Rs 1200 crore, is growing at the rate of 700% year-on-year. So, we are growing 100 times better than the national average, and almost 50 times faster than the used vehicles market growth. Till September, we were only available in New Delhi but now we are present in 167 different cities. We have across 70,000 auto dealers who have used our platform and almost five million monthly visitors are coming to us through various apps.

About the brand

Q] After Shopclues, how did Droom come about?

I would not have started Droom if India did not have Quikr, OLX, CarDekho, Carwale and CarTrade. Our country needed online classifieds as well as discovery platforms which are more of media play. We are the only transaction platform. In the US, first came the retail stores, followed by organized retail stores, catalogue and then e-commerce. It was a natural evolution. In India, there was no organized retail, no catalogue. To some extent, e-commerce is leapfrogging it. Almost 100% of the automobile business is unorganized. Online classifieds are present in over 150 categories, offering free listings. Discovery platforms are offering some content and lead generation. But the moment of truth in buying and selling used automobiles is again, trust and transparency in pricing. With Shopclues, I was a late entrant, being the 35th e-commerce company. In the first six months, we became the fourth largest. Here, we are No. 1. India is the third largest automobile market in the world, a $125 billion annual industry, and 0.3% of that is currently online. We own half of that. We almost created this category. The remaining half is enabled by the classifieds and discovery platforms. This industry will go from $125 billion to $250 billion by McKenzie estimates. Our estimate is that this 0.3% will become 8%. We are trying our best to own 50% if not 100% of that. Right now, we have no competition, and 3-4 years ahead of anyone in terms of technology and use of data science.

Q] What are the challenges for the category?

A lot of classifieds had advertised heavily and made a lot of misleading promises back in 2013-14. They had made promises which they were not capable of fulfilling. So we had to work hard when we started, but people started understanding our value proposition. Also, we need a lot of good talent which is not always easy to find. Thirdly, since we have grown very fast, we don’t have a lot of systems and processes in place and are always looking out for people who require little hand-holding and can start contributing from day one. We also want to build data which has been missing till now in the Indian eco-system. Currently, we are working on Droom History which will give you the history of any vehicle. The problem is that currently all the data exists, but with different sources, and it is difficult to bring all of that under one roof. The government has a lot of data at its disposal. Had such data been available to us, it would be so much simpler to help buyers because they could have the complete history of the vehicle.

Q] Did a lot of learning from creating Shopclues go into creating Droom?

It’s almost like Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. When I started Shopclues, I hadn’t lived in the country for more than 15 years. Then, a lot of firsts happened to me - living in India after 15 years, becoming an entrepreneur, un-learning Silicon Valley and learning India’s ways. During Droom, I did not have to go through any of these. I already have a big network. When I started Shopclues, I gave Rs 5 lakh in cash to someone who ran away with the money without building my office. Hopefully, I will not make such mistakes again. When I created Shopclues, it was three years ahead of its time. When I started Droom, it was five years ahead of its time, and I could do that because I created Shopclues before. There is a higher use of data sciences and technology now. At Rs 1200 crore, we only have 176 people. When Shopclues was worth Rs 1200 crore, it had 900 people.

Q] What will your marketing strategy be for the next few years?

Our biggest marketing strategy is to increase the sense of pride and joy of owning a pre-owned vehicle because people are uncomfortable about using such vehicles. There is an anxiety about the vehicle’s condition too. Secondly, we have built Full Circle Test score and Eco and we will also be working on two other products that will be launched later in the year. Our marketing strategy is to increase awareness about these tools available both on and off Droom.

The hot sellers
Droom sale: Audi priced Rs 8 lakh, Royal Enfield Rs 71,200, Hyundai i10 at Rs 1,40,000; Celebrate Diwali, here’s how

If you have a prolonged plan for a long drive in an Audi with your loved ones or you want to bring Royal Enfield classic to home this Diwali, this is the best time to fulfill your dream.

If you have a prolonged plan for a long drive in an Audi with your loved ones or you want to bring Royal Enfield classic to home this Diwali, this is the best time to fulfill your dream. (Website)

If you have a prolonged plan for a long drive in an Audi with your loved ones or you want to bring Royal Enfield classic to home this Diwali, this is the best time to fulfill your dream. Online automobile transactional marketplace Droom is out with promotions such as Diwali Wheel of Fortune, Karva Chauth Special and Bhaiya Dooj to woo customers with massive discounts. The buyers will get Audi at Rs 8,00,000, Royal Enfield classic at Rs 71, 200, Bajaj Pulsar at Rs 13,000, Honda Activa at Rs 12, 000, Hyundai i10 at Rs 1,40,000.

Droom is also offering an Android phone and shopping coupons from ShopClues on select purchases, while all vehicles bought under this offer will also come with an offer of 50% off on Roadside Services Assistance. Second big offer, the Diwali Wheel of Fortune, also promises a plethora of great deals, discounts and offers between October 26 and October 31, with customers availing discounts of up to INR 50,000 off on Cars, INR 20,000 off on Bikes, and INR 8000 off on scooters. Customers can also spin the Online Wheel of Fortune and get a chance to win spectacular gifts such as a Thailand trip, OnePlus 3 phone, an Air Safari (paragliding) package, branded 2 gm gold coin, helmets, car perfumes and a flat 50% off on Zoomcar rentals. All these promotions are available on pan-India basis in around 180 cities, with the best-selling models from the most renowned automobile houses in the world available during the month-long carnival of great discounts and attractive deals.

Carrying on the festive fervor further, Droom is offering a Karva Chauth Special under its Delhi Auto Fest between October 17 and October 19. Available in locations across North India, buyers can easily avail discounts of up to INR 40,000 on cars, INR 20,000 on bikes, and INR 8,000 on scooters. Furthermore, a romantic evening at a fine-dining restaurant is up for grabs with a GroupOn dining coupon worth INR 3000. One can also avail chopper rides during this day with best rentals listed on the website.

The offers however, do not end here. Following the conclusion of the Diwali Sale is the Bhaiya Dooj offer on November 1. A discount of maximum INR 11,000 is available pan-India on some of the best scooters from the most famous brands across the world.

Droom to spend Rs 10 crore on marketing; launches a month-long auto festival

New Delhi: With the festive season just around the corner, Droom, online automobile transactional marketplace, is taking the celebrations up a few notches by allocating Rs 10 crore as its marketing budget. The move is aimed at driving 30-35 percent growth during the festive season and coincides with the launch of its Auto Festival, which showcases the latest cars, bikes, scooters, super bikes and premium cars at unbelievably affordable prices, a company press release said.

Commenting on the announcement, Rishab Malik, Co-founder & VP – Business Development, said, "Droom is currently receiving 5,000 orders a month, which includes vehicle purchase and automobile-related services. With Dhanteras and other auspicious occasions just around the corner, we expect to drive consumer demand by 30-35 percent this month.

"We are spending Rs 100 crore on marketing this year, out which Rs 10 crore has been allocated for festive promotions," said Malik.

Droom Auto Sale kicks off with promotions such as Grand Auto Sale, Diwali Wheel of Fortune, Karva Chauth Special and Bhaiya Dooj launched to lure its customers with discounts. Grand Auto Sale will be live between 6 October and 11 October with discounts of up to Rs 50,000 on cars, Rs 20,000 on bikes and a maximum of Rs 8,000 on scooters.

Buy new or old, Droom has your back!

Snapshot: With its latest entry in the new car selling space, Droom has been gaining a strong hold in the used car market. Tools such as Orange Book Value and easy loan facilitation will further enhance the growth of this online buy/sell portal.

Buying a used vehicle in India is a complex affair as the variables to be considered are considerably upgrading. You cannot just read basic facts about your next purchase, like kilometre mileage, year of purchase and service history, and jump to a conclusion of buying your next car. As we progress on to better systems of judging used items, cars too need to undergo immaculate observations to be passed as genuine and worthwhile purchases. Until now most companies that deal with chalking out vehicle history and its health have been somewhat vague with information. Enter Droom’s Orange Book Value.

Before you know about Droom and their hocus pocus Orange Book, you need to know a bit about Droom in case you don’t already know it. In the spring of 2014, Droom established itself as one of the largest marketplace to buy and sell automobiles and related services. You can purchase both old and now even new autos from Droom as their latest initiative. Its presence on both iOS and Android platforms on mobile gives it a very wide spread reach to a lot of audience. In fact their success is reflected by the fact that they have accumulated 74K+ B2C sellers displaying 25K+ products. Droom has scaled its Facebook likes to 2.5 Mil+ Likes which is commendable for a recent entrant. They were able to sell 30K used vehicles in a span of just 18 months growing by 700% year on year generating a swelling revenue of Rs 1200 crores.

Why buy new cars from Droom?

After you have made yourself a visible face in the market, it is time to venture into new horizons. Droom got popularity for used vehicle purchases, but now they facilitate new purchases as well. But then many others are doing it, what do you gain with Droom? The company has created a new category that will include a bank loan 50% of vehicle value pre-approved with door-step test drive. Onboard brands associated with Droom include Nissan, Chevrolet, Skoda, Mahindra and e-vehicles from Hero Electric. The leading light at Droom, Sandeep Aggarwal, who is the Founder and CEO expresses his joy and excitement on entering new car selling space and is hoping to bring order to an uncluttered segment of buying vehicles.

And yes, to keep it simple for you and not piling you up with a million papers to sign, the loan approval process has been streamlined and shortened by the company. In a bid to ensure buyers are not discouraged by loads of paperwork, Droom has tried to keep the loan approval process short. Application requisite for loan needs proof of Indian citizenship, birth/age proof for verification as an adult, 18 months of professional experience and a government recognised photo-id.

What is Orange Book Value?

The word fair is still in short supply in the Indian used car market. Droom has come up with a state-of-the-art algorithm based pricing engine to gauge fair market value of used cars, which is called Orange Book Value (OBV) in their terms. Sounds technical, and it is. This OBV a tool built based on Droom’s data and algorithm development that still has its patent pending. For the lay man, OBV is a pricing engine that checks the price of a vehicle based on smart algorithms and historic data which you may download and compare before a purchase. Using it is fairly simple too, simply select if you want to buy or sell, select category and narrow it down based on relevant parameters and generate an OBV report. This tool enhances and streamlines judging vehicle values in an uncluttered market. At least you get a valid datum point to begin with.

Droom is empowering customers to clearly observe minute details about their next used purchase, and also ease them buying a brand new one. The OBV database will start swelling up with time to provide even more concise data as more models and partners join in. It is a bold move by Droom and an applaud is in order for them to stack a chaotic shelf. With a bucket of nearly 50%of user traffic handled by Droom things look bright for the company.

Droom set to invest Rs. 10 crore on its latest marketing campaign :Launches a month-long auto festival

With the festive season just around the corner, Droom, an online automobile transactional marketplace, is taking the celebrations up a few notches by allocating Rs. 10 crore on its marketing budget. The move is aimed at driving 30-35% growth for Droom during the festive season and coincides with the launch of its auto festival, which showcases the latest cars, bikes, scooters, super bikes and premium cars at unbelievably affordable prices.

Commenting on the announcement, Rishab Malik, co-founder and VP – business development, Droom, said, "Droom is currently receiving 5000 orders a month, which includes vehicle purchase and automobile-related services. With Dhanteras and other auspicious occasions just around the corner, we expect to drive consumer demand by 30-35% this month. We are spending Rs. 100 crore on marketing this year, out which Rs. 10 crore has been allocated for festive promotions. Our Droom assist team has been receiving about 1500 queries on a daily basis even before the sale kicked off, underlining the excitement Indian consumers have during the festive season and their trust in Droom’s diverse offerings."

He further added, "It is the season of festivals and we, at Droom, hope to make it as grand as possible for our users. With some outstanding deals and discounts, this month-long sale is aimed at contributing to the festive cheer all around. With the rise in disposable income, we have seen the demand for vehicles in every household is increasing. Consumers want more for less and increasingly prefer pre-owned vehicles over new vehicles, as it allows them to purchase a premium vehicle within the same price range. This is why we’ve launched our latest marketing campaign. With massive discounts and exciting deals, we are looking make this festive season extra special for Indian consumers by allowing them to purchase their preferred vehicles at the most affordable rates."

Droom accelerates Rs 100 crore monthly GMV in 19 months

One of the fastest growing web-based companies, Droom has already registered over Rs 1,200 crore in annualized GMV, with plans to achieve Rs 3,000 crore by March 2017 and estimating a colossal growth to the tune of Rs 5,000 crore by December 2017.

NEW DELHI: Country's pioneering online automobile transactional marketplace Droom continues to ride the wave of success with its disruptive innovations and strategic approaches.

In a massive business achievement, the online automobile portal has been able to successfully clock a monthly gross merchandise value (GMV) of Rs 104 crore in a short span of 19 months.

One of the fastest growing web-based companies, Droom has already registered over Rs 1,200 crore in annualized GMV, with plans to achieve Rs 3,000 crore by March 2017 and estimating a colossal growth to the tune of Rs 5,000 crore by December 2017.

The achievement has become all more impressive as Droom has spent only 3.75 percent of the entire GMV value to run the entire organization including marketing. With their innovation engine running on an overdrive mode, Droom is expected to crunch some big numbers again within a span of five to six months.

"It feels extremely satisfying to achieve, and exceed the numerical goals we had set for ourselves. At a time when the auto industry has witnessed new vehicle sales improve by nine percent Y-O-Y and used-vehicle segment pick up by 15 percent Y-O-Y while the e-commerce companies register a growth rate of 35 percent Y-O-Y, Droom has been able to 700 percent Y-O-Y growth," said Founder and CEO Droom, Sandeep Aggarwal.

Droom first crossed the 100 crore barrier by generating a Rs 104 crore GMV, or USD 17.3 million, at a constant currency exchange rate of Rs 60/USD. Reporting a 30 percent month-on-month growth, it has also set a precedent of incurring low marketing costs by spending a mere 4.5 percent of the total allocation and yet achieving such enormous expansion figures.

Will you drive in a new car this festive season?

With offers and discounts galore on new cars at this time, buyers can be spoilt for choice, but don’t rush in without knowing the pros and cons of buying at this time

The festive season is upon us and many of you would be planing to make big-ticket purchases, such as a house or a car. In fact, car sales usually jump up during this time, with almost a third of the year’s sales coming in the three-month period between September and November. Many buyers wait for this time of the year, in part due to the deals and offers that manufacturers usually offer.

"Buyers have an extensive range of special offers and discounts waiting for them. Since it is considered auspicious to buy metal around Dhanteras and Diwali, a lot of users opt for four-wheelers," said Rishab Malik, co-founder and vice-president, business development, Droom, an online marketplace for automobiles.

This time around demand is expected to be higher, as the monsoon has been generous and government employees have also got additional liquidity with the 7th Pay Commission payouts. "We have had a good season this year and the sale of four-wheelers has picked up from Ganesh Chathurthi onwards. The same movement will gain further momentum as the festivities continue," Malik added.

Is this a good time to buy?

You might be someone who is looking to buy your first car, or looking to upgrade to a better car, or planning a second car. For all of you, here’s a look at the deals and discounts this season, and some tips on buying your dream car.

Brands roll out some of their best offers at this time. "But there are also two other times of the year when consumers can get equally good offers: end of the calendar year and the period around April-May," said Dhruv Chopra, chief marketing officer, CarWale.com, an online marketplace for cars.

Many buyers tend to hold off buying towards the beginning of the calendar year, so as to get a better price when they sell it. In April and May, demand tends to dip as it is just after the financial year has closed and many buyers also feel they should not buy a car just before the monsoon. "In both the above seasons as well, brands roll out aggressive offers to entice buyers," Chopra said

What should you look out for

While discounts on many cars are high in the market, it is not right to expect a discount on best-selling new models. Another simple parameter is the waiting period for a car. If the car you are looking to buy has a waiting time of more than 4 weeks, it is unlikely to have a discount. Cars such as Maruti Suzuki’s Baleno, Tata’s Tiago and Renault’s Kwid are much in demand and customers have to wait for weeks to get deliveries. So, no discounts here (see table).

While discounts on many cars are high in the market, it is not right to expect a discount on best-selling new models. Another simple parameter is the waiting period for a car. If the car you are looking to buy has a waiting time of more than 4 weeks, it is unlikely to have a discount. Cars such as Maruti Suzuki’s Baleno, Tata’s Tiago and Renault’s Kwid are much in demand and customers have to wait for weeks to get deliveries. So, no discounts here (see table).

Apart from simple cash discounts, you can expect a host of other benefits. "Buyers should openly ask dealers for additional discounts in the form of insurance premium reduction, lower interest rates on loans, special financing schemes, exchange bonuses, loyalty bonuses and discounts on accessories," Chopra said. More schemes are likely to be introduced by manufacturers as the festive season progresses.

According to CarDekho.com, exchange bonus is currently available on 68% of the cars being sold in the market while loyalty discount is available on 8% of the models.

"Buyers can get the loyalty discount if a same-manufacturer car is available with any of their blood relatives,"said Umang Kumar, president, CarDekho.com. If you don’t qualify for loyalty discount, you can also negotiate with dealer to convert this discount to a cash discount.

Beware

While the auspiciousness factor is taken care of when you buy a car during this season, there is a possibility of having to pay a small premium for that. "As a car is purchased towards the end of the year, its resale value will be less, compared to one purchased in January (next year)," Kumar said. Moreover, as a large number of buyers opt for specific delivery dates, it could have an impact on the delivery experience as well.

So, study the market and make the most out of the deals available this season.

Unicorn Decodes 2 Unique Ventures - Droom and Kraftly

Unicorn puts the spotlight on two startups: Droom is an online automobiles marketplace that comes from the founder of another Unicorn startup, Shopclues. So we investigate if Droom too will taste the same success. And our second startup, Kraftly, aims to be the Paytm for home entrepreneurs. Kraftly is a marketplace for all things unique, where customers can bargain directly with shopkeepers.

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Small time e-tailers drawing up big plans

Undaunted by their bigger counterparts, Voonik, ShopClues and their ilk are trying every trick of the trade to cash in on big festival spends

The e-commerce space is bristling with action. Not just the biggies. Even small players are chalking out their own strategies for their share of the pie of the big bang festival sale. Discounts, better product portfolios, media campaigns, free services and even finance offers—smaller or vertical players are leaving no stone unturned to woo as many customers as possible this festival season. Interestingly, they have quietly timed their sale to avoid a clash with their bigger counterparts Flipkart and Amazon, which have gone for high decibel mass-media campaigns and huge discount offers. In fact some of the vertical players have already started their sale season.

Shopclues is going for 10-day festive sales which will go on even after the biggies have closed theirs. ShopClues hopes to grow its festive season revenue by 100 per cent over Rs 1,500 crore it made during the season last year. ‘Almost 15-20 per cent of total market spend on Diwali is allocated for sellers’ initiatives like Big Business Boom, AdZone etc. We target to get Rs 200 crore of loan disbursed to our sellers during the season. We have tied up with over 40 logistics partners to give us four times per day load capacity. We have done 100 per cent end-to-end technology integration and automation with all partners whereby real-time tracking is available from the pickup to final delivery. Real-time load allocation to logistics partners basis algorithm data analysis of last three years trends around turnaround time, service levels and capacity of logistics partners,’ said Nitin Agarwal, AVP & Head of Marketing at ShopClues.

Droom, the automobile marketplace has day-specific offers. "We have offers in place for Gandhi Jayanti, promotional offers on scooters during Karva Chauth, and exciting deals on two-wheelers and four-wheelers around Dussehra and Diwali," said Rishab Malik, Co-founder and VP, business development, Droom.

Instead of one big sale, Craftsvilla will have two grand sales - ‘Craftsvilla Grand Festive Sale’ scheduled between October 1 and October 5, 2016 and the ‘Craftsvilla Grand Diwali Sale’ scheduled between October 12 and October 16.

As far as Myntra is concerned, it is participating in Flipkart’s Big Billion Day Sales. After being acquired by Flipkart, this is the second year in a row that it is becoming part of BBD and expects five times sales during the period. It will have discounts of up to 70 per cent on 2.5 lakh styles and designs, shoppers can prep up for the season’s biggest ever fashion sale.

ShopClues has partnered with CashCare Technology, a Mumbai-based fintech company for its zero cost EMI scheme that comes without any interest and processing fee. The zero cost EMI scheme will mean extra advantage and can be availed of on products priced at Rs 5,000 and above. The financing offer is valid on purchases made till November 15, with Rs 500 cashback on the 1st EMI payment. ShopClues also plans to run a pre-approved sale, where a consumer can get the loan approved instantly and schedule the purchase later as per his/her convenience during the festive season. With a credit limit of up to Rs 2 lakh, a customer can use CashCare to buy his/her favorite product from ShopClues and pay over the next few months instead of paying the full price upfront.

"We are going to deliver free services on certain products along with free accessories. For instance, we are giving away 250 helmets at Rs 9 each and are bundling auto loan and insurances with different types of promotions," said Rishab Malik of Droom.

eBay is highlighting the number of products it has in its shopping list. "When we found out that ebay has over 10 crore products, we knew it had to speak not just like a category leader, but as a conversation and thought leader. And eBay team really encouraged us and helped us find that voice. After an amazingly explorative and collaborative process we arrived at the idea - Things Don't Judge," said Hemant Shringy, executive creative director of the campaign.

Droom, CashCare tie-up to offer hassle-free buying process for customers

This association will provide zero percent APR introductory offer that makes buying new vehicles on EMI extremely attractive.

NEW DELHI: Second hand automobile transactional marketplace Droom has announced its partnership with CashCare, a consumer lending platform to make buying process completely hassle-free for customers.

This association will provide zero percent APR introductory offer that makes buying new vehicles on EMI extremely attractive.

To ease out the financial burden, Droom and CashCare have also decided to offer pre-approved loans to eligible buyers. Loans of up to 70 percent of the value of the vehicle are available with a loan period of three to 12 months.

"With the launch of the new vehicles category, we also decided to make the accessibility of the products greater. To this end we are pleased to associate with CashCare and help fulfill the dreams of many of our customers in a quicker and more efficient way," said Co-Founder and VP - Business Development Droom, Rishab Malik.

"Droom has emerged as a significant market innovator in the automobile buy/sell market. As a real-time finance provider, CashCare understands car buyers' needs for hassle-free and quick disbursal of loans," said CashCare Founder and CEO, Vikas Sekri.

Droom Partners With Real-Time Lending Platform CashCare

If you’ve been planning to purchase your dream car this festive season, your wishes have been granted. Droom, Indian online automobile transactional marketplace has entered into a partnership with CashCare, an innovative consumer lending platform where short-term loans are provided on a real-time basis. Coinciding with the availability of the latest range of four-wheelers and bikes from colossal names in the automobile industry such as Chevrolet, Skoda, Nissan, Datsun, Mahindra and Hero Electric on Droom, this association hopes to make the buying process completely hassle-free for customers. The most significant aspect of this association is the incredible 0% APR introductory offer that makes buying new vehicles on EMI extremely attractive.

To ease out the financial burden, Droom and CashCare have also decided to offer pre-approved loans to eligible buyers. Loans of up to 70% of the value of the vehicle are available with a loan period of 3-12 months. With these offerings, CashCare has provided a golden opportunity for buyers who are on the verge of purchasing their first vehicle but were being encumbered by financial constraints.

One of the biggest features of this collaboration and the introductory offer is a 0% Annualized Percentage Rate on the loan amount on the vehicles. This feature makes it all the more attractive for buyers who are apprehensive of interest charges while buying a car. A dealership that provides 0% APR is one of the most amazing deals customers can get this festive season.

Rishab Malik, Co-Founder and VP – Business Development, Droom said, "With the launch of the new vehicles category, we also decided to make the accessibility of the products greater. To this end we are pleased to associate with CashCare and help fulfill the dreams of many of our customers in a quicker and more efficient way. The introductory offer of 0% APR is truly incredible and will further enhance the affinity that vehicle buyers feel for this new service."

CashCare Founder and CEO, Vikas Sekri further added, "Droom has emerged as a significant market innovator in the automobile buy/sell market. As a real-time finance provider, CashCare understands car buyers’ needs for hassle-free and quick disbursal of loans. We hope to facilitate many customers through our association with Droom and help them drive their dream vehicles home this festive season."

Droom has further added to its unmatched reputation of being a complete service facilitator by ensuring procedures at the Regional Transport Office (RTO) are taken care of, with varying charges depending on the type of vehicle and location of RTO. Furthermore, there is a one-year manufacturer warranty available on every vehicle bought through it which is also delivered within 30 days of order placement. Droom buyers also benefit in terms of security as their vehicles are completely covered by the Droom buyer protection policy. With this wide gamut of services and its constant thrust on innovation, Droom has yet again proved its leadership position in the Indian automobile transactions market.

Droom is among the fastest growing consumer Internet companies in India with 74K+ B2C sellers, 25K+ products, 102K+ listings, Rs.5,330 Cr+ in listed GMV, 2.5 Mil+ FB Likes (highest for any automobile community in India) and over 3.2 Mil+ downloads for mobile apps.

Droom zooms into the 2016 Red Herring Top 100 Asia Winners’ list

New Delhi: Further bolstering its leadership stance as one of India’s most outstanding and innovative ventures, Droom, the country’s pioneering online automobile transactional marketplace has made it into the 2016 Red Herring Top 100 Asia award Winners’ list. The awards are declared in recognition of the leading private companies from the region, celebrating the innovations and technologies of start-ups in Asia across their respective industries. Droom has been recognized for its thrust on leveraging technology and data science that has helped it create a disruptive marketplace approach. It has brought in tremendous trust, transparency and convenience into the way Indians buy and sell pre-owned automobiles. After having proved its sustainability, the company has also recently ventured into the new vehicles’ segment to build on its stellar success.

Commenting on the achievement, Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder and CEO, Droom said, "It is a moment of great pride for all of us at Droom to have been named as one of the 2016 Red Herring Top 100 Asia award winners. Given the extensive evaluation criteria on the basis of which we have been selected, the news comes as a great boost to our motivation. It further validates our efforts across the denominators of business success and propels us to fulfill our vision of making Droom a global phenomenon."

"In 2016, selecting the top achievers was difficult as always," said Alex Vieux, publisher and CEO of Red Herring. "The variety, depth, disruption and traction we saw from the early stage companies to those with significant scale made 2016 a great vintage to judge. The Asia winners are representative of the amazing ecosystem that never ceases to astound, with new and experienced entrepreneurs continuing to push the barriers of innovation. As one of the winners, Droom should be proud of its accomplishment."

Each year, Red Herring Top 100 Asia Awards enlists outstanding entrepreneurs and promising companies. It selects the award winners from approximately 2,000 privately-financed companies each in the Asian region. Since 1996, Red Herring has kept tabs on the upcoming organizations and its editors were among the first to recognize that companies such as Google, Facebook, Kakao, Alibaba, Twitter, Rakuten, Salesforce.com, Xiaomi and YouTube would change the way we live and work.

Red Herring’s editorial staff evaluated companies on both quantitative and qualitative criteria, such as financial performance, technological innovation and intellectual property, DNA of the founders, business model, customer footprint and market penetration. This assessment of potential is complemented by a review of the track record and standing of startups relative to their sector peers, allowing Red Herring to see past the "buzz" and make the list a valuable instrument of discovery and advocacy for the most promising new business models in Asia.

Red Herring is a global media company, which unites the world’s best high technology innovators, venture investors and business decision makers in a variety of forums, including print, online and exclusive events worldwide. Red Herring provides an insider’s view and access to the global innovation economy, identifying new and innovative technology companies and entrepreneurs.

Publication - The Economic Times, ET Panache
Droom forays into new vehicles segment.

Pre-owned vehicles transactional marketplace Droom announced its foray into the new vehicles' segment.

Droom is bringing unique innovations to the new category that will include a bank loan with 50% of vehicle value pre-approved, door-step test drive and gift vouchers.

The company has tied up with major brands such as Nissan, Chevrolet, Skoda, Mahindra and the innovation powerhouse of e-vehicles Hero Electric.

Presently, automobiles from all the other brands except Mahindra are available in Delhi-NCR region while Droom facilitates buy/sell of Mahindra vehicles on a pan-India basis.

Commenting on the announcement, Sandeep Aggarwal - founder and CEO, Droom said, "After 18 months of successfully selling 30,000 used vehicles and generating a revenue of Rs 1,200 crore annualised GMV and growing 700% year-on-year, we are proud to finally be a part of the new vehicle market."

"Earlier, we wanted to focus on the used-vehicle segment and change the way it functions through the use of digital tools. In the same vein, we want to create a paradigm shift in the still conventionally-run new vehicle sector and bring about a positive disruption for the benefit of the end consumer," he said.

The pre-requisites for loan application involve proof of Indian citizenship, birth/age proof for verification as an adult, 18 months of service/profession/business history and a government photo-id.

Various offers such as an iPhone 7 and iPad are also being bundled in.

Droom launches new vehicles on its marketplace

The new automobiles will be sold at Droom with basic listing prices and will be equipped with services like instant auto loans and vehicle insurance.

Droom, recently announced its foray into new verticals sector.

Founder and CEO of Droom, Sandeep Aggarwal said in a statement, "After 18 months of selling 30,000 used vehicles and generating a revenue of Rs 1200 crores, we are now a part of the new vehicle market."

The new automobiles will be sold at Droom with basic listing prices and will be equipped with services like instant auto loans and vehicle insurance.

This will also include a bank loan 50% of vehicle value pre-approved and door-step test drive among other things. The startup has already tied up with Nissan, Chevrolet, Skoda, Mahindra and Hero Electric.

Droom starts selling new cars, targets Rs5,000 crore GMV by 2017

Droom offers new vehicles from auto makers such as Nissan, Skoda and Mahindra

Auto makers will get to have their own brand stores on Droom where they can put up videos, brochures and announcements.

Droom, an online marketplace for pre-owned automobiles, has started selling new vehicles as it targets a threefold increase in sales over the next 12 months, a top company executive said on Thursday.

"Earlier, we wanted to focus on the used-vehicle segment and change the way it functions through the use of digital tools. In the same vein, we want to now create a paradigm shift in the still conventionally-run new vehicle sector and bring about a positive disruption for the benefit of the end consumer," said Sandeep Aggarwal, founder and chief executive at Gurgaon-based Droom Technology Pvt. Ltd, which owns the marketplace.

Aggarwal left e-commerce marketplace ShopClues, which he founded in 2013, and founded Droom in 2014.

Droom will sell new vehicles from companies such as Nissan Motor India Pvt. Ltd, Skoda Auto India Pvt. Ltd, Hero Electric and Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, Aggarwal said.

Droom currently does an annualized GMV (gross merchandise value or cost of goods sold) of Rs1,200 crore and aims to touch Rs3,000 crore by March 2017 and Rs 5,000 crore by December 2017.

Auto makers will get to have their own brand stores on Droom where they can put up videos, brochures and announcements.

Droom will offer test drives at customers’ doorstep.

The company operates with gross margins of 1.5-2.5% in the new vehicle segment and about 1-1.5% in the used vehicle segment.

According to Aggarwal, online sales of automobiles is an immense market opportunity. The online segment is currently a $400 million market and is expected to touch $20 billion by 2020, he claims.

In June, Droom raised an undisclosed amount in a round led by Singapore-based early-stage technology fund Beenext, Japan’s start-up investment and incubation firm Digital Garage and existing investors Lightbox and Beenos.

The company has raised over $40 million since its founding, Mint reported.

Droom claims to have more than 74,000 sellers, 25,000 products and 102,000 listings. It aims to expand to 200 cities by 2017.

The company also expects to launch its international operations in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines over the next 10-12 months.

The average ticket size in the scooters category is Rs40,000 and Rs68,000 in motorcycles category. In the cars segment, it is Rs3.5 lakh.

Droom currently gets 65% of its orders from the two-wheeler segment, 30% from cars and the rest from services.

The company expects the new automobiles segment to contribute about 10-15% by March 2017 and 20-25% of sales by 2017-end.

Identifying the right talent for each role
Magazines 4P's
Shopclues to back 4 startups

In a move to amplify the entrepreneurial spirit amongst start-ups, shop clues recently organized the next big E-pruner challenge. A platform where budding entrepreneurs showcased their ideas, they will now invest Rs. 1 Cr in the 4 names that were finalized. To talk more about the startup ecosystem Abha Bakaya of BTVi is joined by Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder, ShopClues; Nabarun Chakraborty, Founder & CEO, Ornativa and Sadiya Naseem, Founder & CEO, Glam Studios.

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Droom to shell out Rs. 100 crore for accelerating its marketing drive

The online automobile transactional marketplace will be spending on marketing initiatives that include TV, outdoor, print, radio and digital advertising

Online automobile transactional marketplace, Droom is geared up to launch a mega promotional campaign with a budget of Rs. 100 crore. The new campaign is being launched for television, YouTube, print, digital and social media and will also be seen outdoors on billboards and external installations. The entire campaign is designed to drive traffic and increase consumer awareness and to enhance the sense of pride amongst Indian consumers when it comes to buying a pre-owned vehicle.

Droom, which has reported more than 700% year-on-year revenue, plans to adopt an aggressive performance-linked marketing approach which will see country-wide spread of the advertisements.

Commenting on the marketing budget, Sandeep Aggarwal, founder and CEO Droom, said, "Our focus completely lies in implementing high return-on-investment promotion options. Furthermore, the 360-degree marketing initiatives will also help us achieve our goal of reaching an annualized GMV of Rs. 3000 crore by the end of 2016 and Rs. 5,000-7,000 crore by the end of 2017 by enhancing consumer tendency to look at the benefits of purchasing their dream vehicles through us."

Keeping this trend in mind along with the upcoming festive season when the propensity to purchase vehicles is the highest, Droom will be rolling out the marketing initiatives well in advance. Of the total Rs.100 crore budget, Rs. 25 crore has been allocated to TV, outdoor, print and radio advertising and other ATL activities.

Considering the huge market available digitally, a further Rs. 25 crore has been assigned to digital promotional activities such as search engine optimization, online ads etc. With the festive season in the offing, deals and discounts would also feature significantly in the marketing budget allocation.

Catering to seven different cities including Delhi NCR, Bangalore, Pune, Ahmedabad and Mumbai, Droom envisions Rs. 100 crore budget as the minimum threshold, rather than the maximum value allocation, and plans to raise the industry standards of marketing expenditure through its upcoming brand building activities.

TV to command Rs 25 cr of Droom's 100 cr marketing budget

MUMBAI: India’s online automobile transactional marketplace Droom is launching a mega promotional campaign with a budget of Rs 100 cr. The new campaign is being launched for television, YouTube, print, digital and social media and will also be seen outdoors on billboards and external installations. The entire campaign is designed to drive traffic and increase consumer awareness and to enhance the sense of pride amongst Indian consumers when it comes to buying a pre-owned vehicle.

Droom, which has reported more than 700% year-on-year revenue, plans to adopt an aggressive performance-linked marketing approach which will see country-wide spread of the advertisements. Automobiles, being a big-ticket item, have a significant gestation period which may last from a minimum one month to a year.

Commenting on the king-size marketing budget, Droom CEO and founder Sandeep Aggarwal said, "Buying a used vehicle is still shrouded in great doubt for many Indian consumers. This year, through our marketing efforts, we hope to instil a sense of pride in the buyers when they purchase a pre-owned automobile. Our focus completely lies in implementing high Return-On-investment promotion options. Furthermore, the 360-degree marketing initiatives will also help us achieve our goal of reaching an annualized GMV of INR 3000 crore by the end of 2016 and INR 5-7,000 crore by the end of 2017 by enhancing consumer tendency to look at the benefits of purchasing their dream vehicles through us."

Keeping this trend in mind along with the upcoming festive season when the propensity to purchase vehicles is the highest, Droom will be rolling out the marketing initiatives well in advance. Of the total 100cr budget, INR 25 crore has been allocated to TV, outdoor, print and radio advertising and other ATL activities. Considering the huge market available digitally, a further INR 25 crore has been assigned to digital promotional activities such as Search Engine optimization, online ads etc. With the festive season in the offing, deals and discounts would also feature significantly in the marketing budget allocation.

Droom’s marketing campaign would be a round-the-year process with periods of heightened activity. Catering to seven different cities including Delhi NCR, Bangalore, Pune, Ahmedabad and Mumbai, Droom envisions INR 100 crore budget as the minimum threshold, rather than the maximum value allocation, and plans to raise the industry standards of marketing expenditure through its upcoming brand building activities.

Droom announces a budget of INR 100cr for its marketing blitz

Droom, India’s pioneering online automobile transactional marketplace is geared up to launch a mega promotional campaign with a budget of INR 100cr. The new campaign is being launched for television, YouTube, print, digital and social media and will also be seen outdoors on billboards and external installations. The entire campaign is designed to drive traffic and increase consumer awareness and to enhance the sense of pride amongst Indian consumers when it comes to buying a pre-owned vehicle.

Droom, which has reported more than 700% year-on-year revenue, plans to adopt an aggressive performance-linked marketing approach which will see country-wide spread of the advertisements. Automobiles, being a big-ticket item, have a significant gestation period which may last from a minimum one month to a year.

Commenting on the king-size marketing budget, Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder and CEO Droom, said, "Buying a used vehicle is still shrouded in great doubt for many Indian consumers. This year, through our marketing efforts, we hope to instil a sense of pride in the buyers when they purchase a pre-owned automobile. Our focus completely lies in implementing high Return-On-investment promotion options. Furthermore, the 360-degree marketing initiatives will also help us achieve our goal of reaching an annualized GMV of INR 3000 crore by the end of 2016 and INR 5-7,000 crore by the end of 2017 by enhancing consumer tendency to look at the benefits of purchasing their dream vehicles through us."

Keeping this trend in mind along with the upcoming festive season when the propensity to purchase vehicles is the highest, Droom will be rolling out the marketing initiatives well in advance. Of the total 100cr budget, INR 25 crore has been allocated to TV, outdoor, print and radio advertising and other ATL activities. Considering the huge market available digitally, a further INR 25 crore has been assigned to digital promotional activities such as Search Engine optimization, online ads etc. With the festive season in the offing, deals and discounts would also feature significantly in the marketing budget allocation.

Droom’s marketing campaign would be a round-the-year process with periods of heightened activity. Catering to seven different cities including Delhi NCR, Bangalore, Pune, Ahmedabad and Mumbai, Droom envisions INR 100 crore budget as the minimum threshold, rather than the maximum value allocation, and plans to raise the industry standards of marketing expenditure through its upcoming brand building activities.

Droom rewards valued partners at 'Sellers Summit'

With over 68k sellers on board its platform, Droom currently has the largest seller community for any online automobile platform in the country.

NEW DELHI: India's pioneering online automobile transactional marketplace Droom recently organized the second annual edition of its Sellers Summit to celebrate its recent successes.

The event was chiefly aimed at fostering community building and facilitating dealer interaction with senior management at Droom.

With over 68k sellers on board its platform, Droom currently has the largest seller community for any online automobile platform in the country.

"Sellers are a very important part of our vision of a holistic, digitally-driven automobile marketplace. Organizing the Sellers Summit is our way of expressing our gratitude for the continued support of the community and to give them greater opportunities to boost their business with us," said Co-Founder and VP Business Development Droom, Rishab Malik.

"This summit will help us to gain further insights from dealers and will help us in designing future collaborations that can be mutually beneficial and deliver optimum interests for both buyers and sellers," added Rishab Malik.

Droom also announced a slew of awards that were distributed at the Summit. The list includes awards such as on-balance-volume champion, fcts champion, best service-level agreement award, best practices with the least number of order cancellations, eco inspection champion, most responsive seller amongst others.

The summit saw the company discussing its future business strategies and plans for the coming year with over 500 dealers from cities such as Delhi, Ludhiana, Chandigarh, Bhatinda, Ahmedabad and others.

The event also encouraged seller interaction with different teams such as product, marketing and tech to provide partner dealers with a better understanding of Droom's business model and how it can benefit them.

Droom rewards valued partners at 'Sellers Summit'

India's pioneering online automobile transactional marketplace Droom recently organized the second annual edition of its Sellers Summit to celebrate its recent successes.

The event was chiefly aimed at fostering community building and facilitating dealer interaction with senior management at Droom.

With over 68k sellers on board its platform, Droom currently has the largest seller community for any online automobile platform in the country.

"Sellers are a very important part of our vision of a holistic, digitally-driven automobile marketplace. Organizing the Sellers Summit is our way of expressing our gratitude for the continued support of the community and to give them greater opportunities to boost their business with us," said Co-Founder and VP Business Development Droom, Rishab Malik.

"This summit will help us to gain further insights from dealers and will help us in designing future collaborations that can be mutually beneficial and deliver optimum interests for both buyers and sellers," added Rishab Malik.

Droom also announced a slew of awards that were distributed at the Summit. The list includes awards such as on-balance-volume champion, fcts champion, best service-level agreement award, best practices with the least number of order cancellations, eco inspection champion, most responsive seller amongst others.

The summit saw the company discussing its future business strategies and plans for the coming year with over 500 dealers from cities such as Delhi, Ludhiana, Chandigarh, Bhatinda, Ahmedabad and others.

The event also encouraged seller interaction with different teams such as product, marketing and tech to provide partner dealers with a better understanding of Droom's business model and how it can benefit them.

Droom Launches Orange Book Value : A Price Search Engine of Any Used Automobile

Orange Book value will measure fair market value of any used automobile

If you are planning to sell or buy an old car or motorcycle or scooters, or even the bicycle, you might check the Orange Book Value. Droom, one of India’s largest online automobile markets has launched the Orange Book Value (OBV) destination website today. It has also launched the OBV app in both Android and IOS platforms.

The Orange Book Value destination website and the app cover all the automobile segment, which include cars, motorcycles, scooters, bicycles, even airplanes too. These platforms provide the users correct market value of their used automobiles. The users can download and share the pricing report also. And all of these services are provided without any fees.

To avail the services, all the users need to do is access the www.orangebookvalue.com. The website comes with a convenient and user friendly layout. In the website users can check the end pricing of their used vehicle and also they can share it on various social network platforms and with the designated persons they want to share with. The app too comes with easy to use features.

Talking about this unique service the founder and CEO of Droom, Mr. Sandeep Aggarwal, has said, the Orange Book Value is India’s first and only algorithmic pricing engine to measure the true market value of any used vehicle. He also added, that this marks a historic day for the entire auto industry in India. He also informs that the Droom has managed to generate more than 72 million queries in the last seven months.

The journey: 5 startups that are still going strong

At a time when startups are facing strong headwinds in terms of raising funds, Gurgaon-based online marketplace for used automobiles, and auto services Droom stunned everybody in May this year: it reportedly raised `200 crore.

In Top Gear

Droom has over 62,000 sellers across the country, over 97,000 listing on its platform and an annualised GMV of $200 million, claims founder Sandeep Aggarwal, declining to disclose the amount raised last May.

What is helping the startup stand out in a highly cluttered market which has heavyweights such as CarTrade, CarDekho and Quikr, is its proprietary technological innovations, claims Aggarwal. While Orange Book Value, he points out, is an algorithmic pricing engine to calculate the market value of any used automobile, Full Circle Trust Score helps buyers in taking more informed decisions and avoid risks.

"These innovations have improved the trust factor associated with buying and selling vehicles online," says Aggarwal, adding that it has also brought about a pricing advantage to buyers and sellers through advanced algorithms and data science. This adds great value to the end-user transactional experience, and has served to differentiate us from the competition, he says.

द्रूम ने पुराने वाहनों के मूल्यांकन के लिए नया एप व वेबसाइट शुरू की

पुराने वाहनों के उचित बाजार मूल्य के मूल्यांकन के लिए एक नया पोर्टल व मोबाइल एप ओरेंज बुक वैल्यू आज शुरू किया गया। इसके जरिए किसी भी पुराने वाहन के उचित बाजार मूल्य का आकलन किया जा सकता है।

प्रमुख आनलाइन आटोमोबाइल बाजार मंच द्रूम ने यह पहल की है। कंपनी का कहना है कि ओरंेज बुक वैल्यू :ओबीवी: एक व्यापक कीमत निर्धारण इंजन है जहां पुरानी कारों के साथ साथ मोटरसाइकिल, स्कूटर से लेकर विमानों तक का मूल्यांकन किया जा सकता है।

द्रूम के संस्थापक व सीईओ संदीप अग्रवाल ने कहा कि देश में ओबीवी अपनी तरह का पहला उत्पाद है जिसमें उपयोक्ता किसी भी पुराने वाहन का मूल्यांकन कुछ ही सेकंड में कर सकता है। इसमें कीमत संबंधी रपट को डाउनलोड या अन्य लोगों के साथ शेयर करने का विकल्प भी है। उन्होंने कहा कि अमरीकी पेटेंट प्रमाणित ओबीपी द्रूम के स्वामित्व वाले गणना संबंधी ढांचे पर कंेंद्रित है।

उन्होंने कहा कि कंपनी ओबीवी मंच पर 100 से अधिक कंपनियों के लगभग 24000 उत्पादों और 1000 माडलों को शामिल करने का लक्ष्य लेकर चल रही है। ओरेंज बुक वेल्यू ने वाहन बीमा के लिए कारनेशन तथा रिन्यू बाई के साथ गठजोड़ किया है।

अग्रवाल ने कहा कि बीते सात महीने में इस मंच के जरिए विभिन्न वाहनों के मूल्य से जुड़े 7.2 करोड़ से अधिक प्रश्न पहले ही पूछे जा चुके हैं।

Droom launches 'Orange Book Value', brings unprecedented innovation

India's pioneering online automobile transactional marketplace Droom today announced the launch of Orange Book Value (OBV) destination website along with its Android and iOS apps, multiple partnership, and third party web publishers' widget.

The first and the only algorithmic benchmark 'pricing engine to measure the fair market value for any used automobile, Orange Book Value is the most comprehensive pricing engine, which is not limited to cars alone, but also covers a wide spectrum of vehicle categories including motorcycles, scooters, bicycles and planes - covering 24000+ products from 100+ makes, nearly 1000 models and 4000 variants for last 10-11 years.

With OBV, users can calculate the true market value of a used vehicle in less than 10 seconds, that too for free. They can also download/share pricing report in no time. OBV is designed keeping user convenience as a top priority.

The US patent-certified OBV pricing engine is built on Droom's proprietary computational infrastructure and real-time data science which analyses empirical evidences to give the final price value of any used vehicle.

It considers various factors like purpose (buying/selling), depreciation curves, margins and spreads with intermediaries as any vehicle changes ownerships, and dozens of factors that impact the valuation of an automobile.

"Today is a historical day for the entire auto industry in India as we are launching Orange Book Value (OBV), India's first and only algorithmic pricing engine to measure the true market value for any used automobile. For the last two years, we have deployed dozens of development engineers who have diligently worked and made this launch a great success," said Founder and CEO Droom, Sandeep Aggarwal.

"We have already managed to generate almost 72 million queries in the last seven months. Having spent millions of dollars on this innovation, the app is so convenient that a user can check the price of any used vehicle within ten seconds and can avail the pricing report free of cost," added Aggarwal.

This partnership will allow our partners to use Orange Book Value as benchmark pricing for used vehicles and leverage our computational infrastructure and US patented technologies to find out fair market value of used vehicles.

"We have developed OBV with a long-term vision of making it the most trusted valuation guide for automobiles, be it a cycle, bike, car or even an Airplane. Droom is a technology and data science driven company and with us innovate and disruptive marketplace approach, we build trust, pricing, transparency and convenience advantages in a unique way for buyers and sellers for used automobiles. The launch of this website is a step towards this commitment to our users," he added.

Droom Launches Orange Book Value - An Algorithmic Pricing Engine For Used Vehicles

Gurgaon-based online automobile marketplace, Droom has launched an OrangeBookValue (OBV) destination website, along with its Android and iOS apps, multiple partnerships and third party web publishers’ widget.

This will allow users to measure the fair market value for any used automobile in less than 10 seconds with the help of basic parameters like make, model, year, trim and kilometers driven.

The company claims OBV to be India’s first and only algorithmic benchmark ‘pricing engine’ for used vehicles.

More About OBV

The US patent-certified OBV pricing engine is built on Droom’s proprietary computational infrastructure and real-time data science. The final price analysis of the used vehicle is based on empirical evidences like purpose (buying/selling), depreciation curves, margins, etc.

It also takes into account intermediaries as the vehicle changes ownership, and dozens of factors that impact the valuation of an automobile.

As Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder and CEO, Droom said, "We have developed OBV with a long-term vision of making it the most-trusted valuation guide for automobiles — be it a cycle, bike, car or even an aeroplane. Droom is a technology and data science driven company and with an innovative and disruptive marketplace approach, we build trust, pricing, transparency and convenience advantages in a unique way for buyers and sellers for used automobiles. The launch of this website is a step towards this commitment to our users."

This partnership will allow our partners to use Orange Book Value as benchmark pricing for used vehicles and leverage our computational infrastructure and US patented technologies to find out fair market value of used vehicles.

"We have developed OBV with a long-term vision of making it the most trusted valuation guide for automobiles, be it a cycle, bike, car or even an Airplane. Droom is a technology and data science driven company and with us innovate and disruptive marketplace approach, we build trust, pricing, transparency and convenience advantages in a unique way for buyers and sellers for used automobiles. The launch of this website is a step towards this commitment to our users," he added.

Droom launches Orange Book Value, brings unprecedented innovation

India's pioneering online automobile transactional marketplace Droom today announced the launch of Orange Book Value (OBV) destination website along with its Android and iOS apps, multiple partnership, and third party web publishers' widget.

The first and the only algorithmic benchmark `pricing engine to measure the fair market value for any used automobile, Orange Book Value is the most comprehensive pricing engine, which is not limited to cars alone, but also covers a wide spectrum of vehicle categories including motorcycles, scooters, bicycles and planes - covering 24000+ products from 100+ makes, nearly 1000 models and 4000 variants for last 10-11 years.

With OBV, users can calculate the true market value of a used vehicle in less than 10 seconds, that too for free. They can also download/share pricing report in no time. OBV is designed keeping user convenience as a top priority.

The US patent-certified OBV pricing engine is built on Droom's proprietary computational infrastructure and real-time data science which analyses empirical evidences to give the final price value of any used vehicle.

It considers various factors like purpose (buying/selling), depreciation curves, margins and spreads with intermediaries as any vehicle changes ownerships, and dozens of factors that impact the valuation of an automobile.

"Today is a historical day for the entire auto industry in India as we are launching Orange Book Value (OBV), India's first and only algorithmic pricing engine to measure the true market value for any used automobile. For the last two years, we have deployed dozens of development engineers who have diligently worked and made this launch a great success," said Founder and CEO Droom, Sandeep Aggarwal.

"We have already managed to generate almost 72 million queries in the last seven months. Having spent millions of dollars on this innovation, the app is so convenient that a user can check the price of any used vehicle within ten seconds and can avail the pricing report free of cost," added Aggarwal.

This partnership will allow our partners to use Orange Book Value as benchmark pricing for used vehicles and leverage our computational infrastructure and US patented technologies to find out fair market value of used vehicles.

"We have developed OBV with a long-term vision of making it the most

trusted valuation guide for automobiles, be it a cycle, bike, car or even an Airplane. Droom is a technology and data science driven company and with us innovate and disruptive marketplace approach, we build trust, pricing, transparency and convenience advantages in a unique way for buyers and sellers for used automobiles. The launch of this website is a step towards this commitment to our users," he added.

Droom-Powered Orange Book Value Looks to Set Gold Standard in Used Vehicle Market

The Droom team of engineers, data scientists, product managers and marketing managers led by Sandeep and co-founder Rishab Malik has used empirical evidence gathered from the OBV platform built in to the Droom website in a bid to make the search engine as accurate as possible.

Today Droom Technology Pvt Ltd launched Orange Book Value (OBV), another service in its array of services offered on the online used automobile marketplace. The Droom team calls OBV "India’s first and only algorithmic benchmark pricing engine to measure the fair market value for any used automobile". OBV will available as a website as well as a mobile app (for android and iOS only).

Today Droom Technology Pvt Ltd launched Orange Book Value (OBV), another service in its array of services offered on the online used automobile marketplace. The Droom team calls OBV "India’s first and only algorithmic benchmark pricing engine to measure the fair market value for any used automobile". OBV will available as a website as well as a mobile app (for android and iOS only).

Sandeep Aggarwal, founder and CEO of Droom said on the occasion it was about increasing accuracy, minimising error and guesswork in setting a fair market based price for used vehicles across India. "Take for example a girl who moves to Delhi for her studies. She wants to buy a scooty. She has no way of knowing what the right price for a scooty would be. OBV’s algorithm will help decide with more accuracy what the market price is, and what others are paying for a scooty in the area she wants to buy it".

The Droom team of engineers, data scientists, product managers and marketing managers led by Sandeep and co-founder Rishab Malik has used empirical evidence gathered from the OBV platform built in to the Droom website in a bid to make the search engine as accurate as possible. The US patent pending algorithm OBV uses has been developed using data gathered across 13 months, 30,000 customer transaction, 61,000 auto dealers and 650 crore worth of transactions. The algorithm is vendor agnostic and uses real time data to provide search results.

Sandeep’s vision for OBV to be the go-to automobile bible for all answers when buying a used vehicle is evident. OBV has even been made available as a widget automobile bloggers and any enthusiast can embed in their own websites. "It gives such bloggers and content creators the opportunity to monetize their platforms by embedding OBV in their blogs etc". Then there are more plans to promote OBV across the banking community, and even publish a guidebook called the OBV to be used by underwriters. OBV already has the endorsement of Indian vehicle monoliths like RenewBuy and Carnation. Carnation founder Mr. Jagdish Khattar speaking on the occasion said OBV will "help the buyer, seller, and automobile industry". Sandeep has further plans to add more offerings to enhance the Droom customer experience. "We plan to add more historical information on the vehicles searched for. For example like name of previous owner, price it was bought for etc."

Sandeep, who is also a founder of ShopClues now the fifth unicorn in the Indian startup ecosystem certainly has the Midas touch. Despite the unfortunate run in with the FBI, Aggarwal has the instinct for what will make a fortune. The used automobile industry is larger than the market for new vehicles in India. Somendra, part of OBV team says the ratio is 1.2:1 and potentially could be a billion dollar industry. Cofounder of Droom, Rishab said that the current used vehicle market in India is about 125 billion dollars a year while the potential to grow within India and beyond (beginning with the South Asian region) in the next 3 or so years is tremendous. Sandeep added that the launch of OBV will stand to create 18000 more transfers by next March while Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) could increase to 3,000 Cr.

Why Chinese investors think India’s tech sector is the next big thing

Tech sector start-ups find saviour in Chinese investors eager to profit from ‘the next big market’

As venture funding in the Indian tech sector slows to a trickle, anxious local start-ups may have found a new backer of their dreams – Chinese investors.

Eager to invest in a market that is home to more than 12,000 start-ups and, they believe, at the tipping point for growth, a slew of Chinese investors are committing to new Indian ventures even as their American and European peers take a step back.

Their ultimate aim? To pick a winner capable of emulating the Chinese Unicorns – firms worth more than US$1 billion.

The trend started with a trickle in January last year when Hillhouse Capital invested US$50 million in the start-up CarDekho, an online automobile search engine. Soon after, press reports suggested Alibaba, owner of the South China Morning Post, and its financial-services affiliate were investing more than half a billion US dollars in Paytm, an e-commerce website that subsequently turned into a Unicorn. In August, Indian e-commerce company Snapdeal.com said it had raised US$500 million from investors including Alibaba and Foxconn.

With many struggling to stay afloat, quite a few have been acquired by other start-ups.

"The sector went through a phase of irrational funding that went bust a few months back. And now, funding has come to a state of halt," said Sandeep Aggarwal, founder of an automobile portal, Droom, that raised an estimated US$25 million-US$35 million funding in June from undisclosed Japanese and Chinese institutional investors.

According to Aggarwal, Droom is now holding talks with another Chinese investor, Integrated Asset Management, which owns Forbes magazine.

Small wonder then that Indian entrepreneurs are queuing up to woo the Chinese. "After our first event we received requests from at least 1,000 start-ups looking for Chinese investors", said Edward Li of Onionfans.

What freedom means to entrepreneurs

Be the change that you wish to see in the world, said Mahatma Gandhi. And nobody epitomizes this better than India’s young and feisty startup entrepreneurs as they create new businesses, disrupt age-old sectors and change the way people eat, dress, work, shop, travel, relax and enjoy.

As India gets set to celebrate its 70th Independence Day, we asked many of them if pursuit of freedom is what led them on to the entrepreneurial journey. And we found that it was indeed the freedom to make one’s own decisions, follow one’s own passion, be one’s own boss, the freedom to dream and chase those dreams, that inspired most entrepreneurs to set out on their own.

Here is what few of them had to say about the connection between freedom and entrepreneurship.

Freedom to take risks

Sandeep Aggarwal, founder, Shopclues (e-commerce marketplace) and Droom (online marketplace for automobiles & auto services).

Being an entrepreneur, in my opinion, is mostly about taking control of one’s own destiny and pursuing innovative solutions to address market gaps. The freedom to take risks and carve one’s own path in today’s highly-charged, dynamic business ecosystem is definitely a major motivation for any aspiring entrepreneur. This is what has been driving many top professionals from across the globe to leave their plush, high-paying jobs in leading MNCs and establish their own ventures.

Used car portals on a fundraising spree

Online automobile marketplace, especially for used cars and other vehicles, is a fast growing segment that has seen a lot of investments flowing in alongside a few mergers and acquisitions. Enthused by the growing customer base and transactions on these platforms, South African internet and digital media firm Naspers launched its used car platform Stradia.in in India last month under its classifieds platform OLX.

Interestingly, Naspers had sold its used-car platform Gaadi.com to Google Capital-backed rival CarDekho.

Observers feel that the used car market is set to grow at a fast clip over the next few years and will get more organized thanks to online players. "The share of organized sector in the used-car market is going to grow from the current 15-20% to 30-40% over the next four to five years," says Rajeev Singh, head, automotive, KPMG. "Once the market becomes that big, it will open up huge opportunities for current as well as new players," he adds.

In an effort to seize the current opportunity and also to incentivize customers to come online to buy and sell old cars, the portals are offering a whole gamut of services including facilitating car loans, getting insurance, ensuring professional assessment of vehicles, as well as refurbishing the old vehicle with authorized parts, among other things.

"Market has dramatically changed over time. Earlier, the online platforms had only two types of offerings- classifieds and content creation, but now we offer much more than that," says Sandeep Aggarwal, founder, Droom, another marketplace for second-hand automobiles. "New cars industry is growing at the rate of 8-9% and the used-automobile industry is growing at the rate of 15%," he said explaining the rush among entrepreneurs as well as investors to ride the sector.

It is not surprising, therefore, that a lot of investors have placed big bets on these platforms in the past seven months. Here is a quick look at some of them:

Droom

Company: Droom Technology Pvt Ltd

Former CEO of e-commerce marketplace Shopclues, Sandeep Aggarwal founded Droom in 2014 and the company claims to be the first platform of its kind to allow customers to buy and sell new-and pre-owned automobiles. It deals in various categories ranging from bicycles, bikes, scooters, cars to luxury, premium and vintage cars and bikes. It raised an undisclosed amount from venture capital investors Beenext, Lightbox Ventures and Japanese investors Digital Garage and Beenos in its latest round of funding in June this year.

"We have been witnessing tremendous growth over the past 16 months in terms of adoption by sellers, number of categories and listings, and geographical presence in 142 cities across India, and transactions," Aggarwal had said at the time of funding. In July 2015, the company had raised close to $16 million from Lightbox and Beenos and before that, it had raised seed funds over two rounds in May and October 2014.

The platform caters to over 41,000 B2C sellers, more than 25000 products and over 62000 listing of vehicles.

With Rs 100 crore, Droom wants to tank up on ads

Droom, an online marketplace for used automobiles and auto services, plans to spend `100 crore on marketing, advertising and promotions this year, according to a top executive of the company.

"We want to increase the sense of pride and lower the anxiety in the mind of a customer when they plan on buying a used vehicle," said Sandeep Aggarwal, CEO of Droom, which is present in 160 towns and cities.

Aggarwal said the company is aiming at a five-fold increase in business in one year to `5,000-6,000 crore in annualised gross merchandise value. The company hopes to close the current fiscal with Rs 3,000 crore in annualised GMV, he said. Founded in April 2014 in Silicon Valley, the Gurgaon-based startup is backed by venture capital firm Lightbox, Singapore-based investor Beenext, Beenos and Japanese incubator and VC firm Digital Garage.

It has so far raised more than Rs 300 crore in funds. Other competitors in the space include Google Capital and HillHouse-backed CarDekho, and Warburg Pincus and Tiger Global Management funded CarTrade.

Although the company gets most of its business from the Delhi-NCR region, over the last few months it has seen significant growth in transactions from cities including Bengaluru, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Ludhiana, Surat and Hyderabad.

Droom plans to build India's largest repository on vehicle information

Trust is the biggest hurdle to cross when it comes to the used vehicle category and the company needs to build a crucial bridge to close this trust gap between the buyers and the sellers.

Sandeep Aggarwal, the founder and CEO of the used car platform Droom has an ambitious and an equally audacious plan. Aggarwal plans to create a repository of all vehicles in the country - with the assertion that it will contain every detail about the car. "This repository will provide details of who owned the vehicle, for how many years, the distance it has travelled, insurance claims made on it, who was the second buyer, which state has it plied in. So if, for instance, the vehicle was in Chennai during the 2015 floods, this would help in raising a red flag for possible water damage," shares Aggarwal.

Ready for launch in the coming months, Aggarwal maintains it was not an easy problem to solve, given the disparate records and systems that the startup had to deal with. "We had to collate different data from various sources. From getting purchase information from Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), registration details from transport ministry, accident data from insurance providers and police records and additional information from data science. It is a tough problem to solve, but we are almost there," says a proud Aggarwal.

Currently the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA), Vahan (under the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways) maintains a vehicle repository, but they have limited information. If Aggarwal manages to pull this off, it would be, perhaps, the biggest repository of such kind in the country.

Aggarwal's line of thinking stems from the fact that trust is the biggest hurdle to cross when it comes to the used vehicle category and he needs to build a crucial bridge to close this trust gap between the buyers and the sellers. One of the few startups to have raised money this year ($29.8 million in a Series-B round), the detailed repository of the history of used vehicles in India is a step in that direction. Innovation to traction.

In the startup world of cut-throat competition, a late entrant like Droom (launched in 2014 as compared to competitors like CarTrade which was founded in 2010) needs to play the disruptor, and Aggarwal is aware of it. Although the online platform lists all kinds of vehicles on its platform - car, two-wheelers, super bikes, supercars, and planes - however the largest chunk of traction comes from used cars.

It is in this category that the founder's efforts are invested. The startup has developed and launched several tools to help inspire trust in buyers on one hand and improve the saleability of the cars on the other.

Original tools like Eco Inspection and Verification services, Full Circle Trust Score have helped the startup to attract substantial traffic. An algorithm-driven pricing engine called 'Orange Book Value' has alone generated 67 million queries for the startup.

Tools to attract money

These innovations, Aggarwal claims, have not only helped in attracting business, but also the money required to do this business. "These tools enabled us to perform on a very high steam. Also, these tools were very helpful in giving glimpses of potential traction to our investors and in showing them how it can help us to develop stronger competitive differentiation versus our competition," says Aggarwal.

The efforts are visible in the improved traction of Droom.in. Aggarwal claims that there have been a significant increase in the last six months in the various parameters the startup evaluates for performance - from 25,000 B2C sellers to 58,000 sellers, lifetime listings from 1 lakh to 2.2 lakh, from being available in 25 cities to 160 cities, from Gross merchandise volume (GMV) worth Rs 45 crore/month to Rs 100 crore/month and more importantly, from 1.8 million monthly visitors to four million visitors per month.

"For any hyper local marketplace, we have created the biggest footprint in this space. While many ecommerce companies have seen ups and downs and investors have pulled back, we have continued to see a phase of hyper growth," says Aggarwal.

Aggarwal is confident that Droom will continue to disrupt the market with its innovations and it is these creations rather than investors that he promises to continue to chase.

India’s Biggest Bike Mela is back on Droom!

The campaign will be rolled out across all major cities such as Delhi/NCR, Bangalore, Pune, Mumbai and Ahmedabad which can be accessed through Droom’s web and mobile platform.

Droom, India’s pioneering online automobile transactional marketplace is back with India’s Biggest Bike Mela (IBBM). Scheduled to run between July 23 and July 26, the campaign will have 15 top models including Bajaj Pulsar, Yamaha FZ, TVS Apache and Royal Enfield Classic available at mind boggling discounts.

The latest move from Droom is aimed at making bike ownership more convenient and affordable for the aspiring Indian consumer. The campaign will be rolled out across all major cities such as Delhi/NCR, Bangalore, Pune, Mumbai and Ahmedabad which can be accessed through Droom’s web and mobile platform.

Speaking on the campaign, Rishab Malik, Co-founder and VP, Business Development, Droom, said, "We have, through our focus on transparency, convenience and value-addition, established ourselves as the platform of choice for both buyers and sellers in the country. Our latest India’s Biggest Bike Mela is aimed at furthering our brand proposition. With top-selling bike models from verified sellers available to buyers at highly cost-effective prices, we are confident that the campaign will be a major hit with the Indian consumer looking to fulfil their bike ownership requirements."

Hot deals and discounts available on select bike models make Droom’s IBBM an opportunity that should not be missed for Indian bike enthusiasts. So what are you waiting for? Log onto www.Droom.in, or open the Droom mobile app to browse through the widest collection of bikes on sale!

6 apps that will make life easy for in a new city

New Delhi, July 21 (ANI): Are you new in the city? Here are some apps that will make your life easier.

The entire process of getting exposed to a new city brings you new challenges and hurdles. So these are the apps that work as a complete tech guide for a student in a new city.

Firstly, 'CommonFloor' helps you to find accommodation. With this, online house search can be conducted before moving to a new city.

Secondly, 'Furlenco' helps you to get furniture for your house on a rental basis.

Thirdly, 'HelpChat,' India's biggest personal assistant app with more than two million downloads, provides timely help and suggestions and reminds you about important things.

Next is 'UrbanClap,' that provides the simplest way to find and hire trusted professionals in the area like plumbers, electricians, chefs and more.

'Paytm,' India's largest mobile payment and commerce platform, holds great potential for students settling in a new city.

Finally, 'Droom,' is an online marketplace for buying and selling used automobiles, with its special discounts for college students. (ANI)

App that semester! Here's our guide to handy apps that help students

With the reopening of colleges, it means settling into timetables, routines and for many, a new city. Here’s our guide to handy apps that will help students ease into another academic year

If you live away from your college, and trains and buses are not your thing, you may as well get a bike for transportation. Considering your short stay, a second-hand bike or car from Droom may be an apt choice. You can check their catalogue on a browser as well.

Read More
Droom Vroom is back with Scooter Looter sale!

The Scooter Looter Sale from Droom can be accessed through its web and mobile platform, and will be available to users in cities such as Delhi/NCR, Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Chennai, Jaipur and Ahmedabad.

Droom, India’s pioneering online transactional marketplace for automobiles, is back with Scooter Looter Sale from July 16 to July 19 to make scooter ownership extremely affordable for its users. With verified and inspected scooters in six top-selling models available at massive discounts, Droom’s latest offer is an opportunity that should not be missed!

The Scooter Looter Sale from Droom can be accessed through its web and mobile platform, and will be available to users in cities such as Delhi/NCR, Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Chennai, Jaipur and Ahmedabad. More than 3000 plus pre-owned scooters from top-selling models such as Honda Activa, Suzuki Suzuki Access, Hero Maestro, Honda Aviator Honda Dio, TVS Jupiter and TVS Wego will be available under the sale.

Speaking on the deal, Rishab Malik, Co-founder and VP, Business Development, Droom, said, "There is a growing demand for scooters from the Indian consumer, which is why we come up again with Scooter Looter Sale focusing on the top cities across India. By making quality-assured and verified pre-loved scooters available to our users at the lowest possible price, we are confident that we will delight automobile enthusiasts again by providing a wonderful opportunity to meet their scooter ownership requirements."

With up to INR 11000 off on select models, Droom is offering jaw-dropping discounts to make scooter ownership a tangible reality for auto enthusiasts across the country. So what are you waiting for? Visit www.droom.in/scooterlooter today to check out these hard-to-miss deals and become the proud owner of your own set of wheels!

An online marketplace for buying and selling new or used automobiles and related services
Conversation with Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder, Droom

It is a fact that there is no other platform like Droom in India yet. Founded by Sandeep Aggarwal of ShopClues.com in April 2014, Gurgaon-based startup Droom is an online marketplace for buying and selling of old and new automobiles. But what makes it stand out from the competitors?

  • It follows all four models of operation i.e. B2B, B2C, C2C, C2B.
  • Unlike classified listing sites like OLX, it is an end-to-end service.
  • It has an unparalleled AI and machine learning platform. With just 170 employees, Droom boasts of achieving an annualized GMV of over 4,102Cr. This is an unprecedented feat in India.

Startup Buzz Media recently had a chat with the founder and CEO, Sandeep Aggarwal. Here is what he had to say.

Ques. How did the idea of Droom come about? When did it struck you?

After ShopClues, I was looking at a bigger issue to address through technology; something with a scope of a big internet company. I also realized that online and print automobile classifieds are not the solution to the problems of the buyers and sellers. This is when the idea of Droom came to me.

Ques. How is Droom different from OLX, CarDekho and other such companies?

Unlike online classifieds like OLX and discovery platforms such as CarDekho, we are end-to-end service providers. We don’t only post listings on our website; we also provide 360-degree assistance to the users. Droom is one-of- its-kind platform in India.

Ques. People here are still opening up to such online platforms. How comfortable do you think they are using such online services right now?

People are definitely opening up and embracing online purchases. Until a few years ago, people were only buying books online. Then, they started buying clothes, shoes and electronics. Today, people are even buying LED 3D TVs. From finding dates to looking for home loans, people are depending on the internet to do everything. The trend shows that they are ready for big ticket items like automobiles. Out of 1.3 billion Indians, 350 million are internet users and 60 million are online shopper. Out of this 60 million, 15 million users (25%) buy multiple items online every year. These people are our core online shoppers. It is estimated that by 2020, this number will increase to 100 million. These are some very good numbers.

Ques. How hard is it to reach out to tier 2 and tier 3 cities and what is Droom doing to get its customer base there?

Until September 2015, we were operational only in NCR. Now, we are active in 150 cities out of which we are already generating good revenue from more than 75 cities. We have a unique value proposition- trust, transparency and pricing. It is a mass appeal and not just an urban appeal. This is why, we have been making good inroads to these tier 2 and tier 3 cities.

Ques. How does Droom go about ensuring these three parameters of trust, transparency and pricing?

We have multiple features like ECO- an independent app to get an unbiased and objective vehicle inspection report. This report is based on 121 exhaustive checkpoints. Also, we use data sciences to maintain the trust factor. We also provide full circle trust score to ensure the buyers that they are dealing with trustworthy sellers. All our listings are rated based on 15 factors. Our effort is always directed towards making the transaction transparent.

Ques. Please shine some light on the growth and sales numbers of Droom.

We sold our first vehicle on 7th January 2015. Since then, we have sold over 30,000 vehicles. At present, we have over 59k sellers and 88k+ listings. Our annualized GMV stands at 4,102Cr+.

Ques. What is Droom doing in terms of marketing?

Since, our customer base comprises of internet users, we majorly use digital marketing. We want to target the core online shoppers. In our industry, brand and product perceptions play a very important role. And for this precise reason, we have adopted the way of digital performance based marketing, social media, e-mailers and promotional activities. Currently, Droom has a 2.1 million Facebook fan base. Due to this, Droom is the largest automobile-focused community today.

Ques. You have implemented machine learning technology in your customer support division. Does it also extend to other departments?

Machine learning and AI in data sciences are at the heart of Droom. We have managed the feat of generating 1000 crore business with just 4 people in customer support. Because of machine learning at the core of our processes, we can manage a seller-robot communication without an error. Our platform can also automate notification processes for e.g., if a particular listing doesn’t get any response for 10 days, it can notify the user and also suggest them to lower the price of the listing. In this market category, Droom is easily the most advanced market place. Because of this, we are still a staff of 170 people with a 1000 crore annualized GMV. Nowhere in India can you see that.

Ques. You recently completed your Series B round of funding? What are Droom’s plans from here on?

We will be expanding our categories to auto-loan and insurance. We have earmarked this money to expand to south-east Asia because we believe that we have a global opportunity here.

Ques. Along with running Droom, you also actively invest in startups. What do you look for in a startup? More importantly, what do you look for in an entrepreneur?

Being a prolific investor, I see if the founders are energetic and passionate. Are they being driven by vision or just the need to be their own boss? I like to invest in technology-driven businesses. So, I like to think in terms of how important a role that technology is going to play in our lives and how uniquely qualified is the person to solve a problem.

Ques. In India, we see a lot of service-based startups but rarely a product-based startup. What do you think is the reason for this trend?

The problem lies in our system. We missed out on Industrial Revolution of 1760. After Aryabhata, we have not produced an inventor like Edison or Graham Bell. It actually also depends on the aptitude. In our business ecosystem, product-based companies are deemed as very risky. We have a bias towards rewarding something that can be profitable sooner.

Ques. What is an average day at work like?

I am basically a high-energy, high-passion kind of a person. And then I am paranoid too. As Andrew Grove has said in his book, "Only the paranoid survives", I take even the smallest of the problems very seriously. I think that level of seriousness and dedication is the way to top. Saying that, on a typical day, I work for 17-19 hours. I wake up at around 6:30 am, go to gym, start checking mails after that. It is usually a working breakfast for me. I reach office around 10 am where, being a CPO too, I spend 60% of my time in discussing and strategizing products. Apart from this, interaction with teams is a daily routine to which I give very high importance. Remaining of my time is spent on PR and marketing activities.

Ques. How do you balance your professional life with your personal life?

Sometimes I don’t see my kids for days despite living under the same roof. But having worked with 4 Fortune 500 companies, I think I have come to terms with the reality. To succeed, one needs to make some sacrifices. Nevertheless, we keep going on small unplanned vacations and spend quality family time there. I think taking such breaks with family is a must for anyone.

Ques. Looking back, what do you wish you knew before you started your first business?

Just start following your passion; don’t wait for a perfect time to start. I wish I had started earlier. I was a young kid when my father started his business. While helping him with branding, challan book, etc, I came face to face with a business model which I had no understanding of at that point. I was doing those things naturally without realizing they were entrepreneurial in nature.

Ques. One book that you think all aspiring entrepreneurs must read.

Books really motivate me. I have more than 850 books. They have travelled with me to two different continents and seven different cities. Out of them, Malcolm Gladwell’s Outlier is my most favourite.

Ques. You had put in your own money into your earlier startup, ShopClues. Can you briefly recount those days of struggle?

Starting ShopClues was not easy. I had a very well-paying job at Silicon Valley. I wanted to be an entrepreneur but at the same time I thought I had worked very hard my entire life to be here. So walking away from all that was not at all an easy decision. I started moonlighting on the idea of ShopClues. I was alone in the beginning and it was hard. But then I realized that if I don’t believe in my conviction, how will I convince others? I spent $200,000 on ShopClues from my own pocket before I got any other investors on board.

Ques. Some words of motivation for the young entrepreneurs.

If you have a vision and you feel you can do better than what you are doing now at your job, then go after your dream by all means. The regret of knowing your dream and not doing anything about it is bigger than any other regret. Don’t do it because you want to be your own boss. Don’t do it just because you have money. Do it only if you have the dream and that passion in you.

Coolest Start ups - Riding High

Droom is making the buying and selling of used automobiles a breeze

Sandeep Aggarwal doesn't let go of anything that has worked. He announced the launch of Droom on November 21, 2014, the same day he launched e-commerce marketplace ShopClues in 2011, now India's youngest unicorn. Droom started from the same building in Gurgaon's Sector 15 where ShopClues began. Every time Aggarwal went for investor meetings, he wore the same T-shirt - a green-coloured Hugo Boss. "There's an old Wall Street saying: 'It is better to be lucky than smart'," Aggarwal, Founder and CEO of Droom, says, chuckling. You cannot argue that his luck has worked.

He has raised four rounds of capital, totalling nearly $46 million. The last round, its biggest at an estimated $30 million, came in June this year amid the doom and gloom in India's e-commerce industry. Investors, including the likes of Singapore's BEENEXT, Digital Garage from Japan, Beenos and Indian VC firm Lightbox, saw great execution. After ShopClues, Aggarwal was keen on building a second marketplace, one that connects buyers and sellers of used vehicles. But back in 2014, when there were no numbers to validate his business plan, Aggarwal managed to convince some that he can make money organising what is largely an unorganised market.

One of the earliest investors to back Droom was Sid Talwar of Lightbox. He knew Aggarwal well. "There are very few successful marketplaces in the world. Sandeep understood how to build a marketplace," he says. What also convinced him was the fact that marketplaces for transactions in India's online automobile world did not exist in 2014. "People were doing classifieds (OLX and Quikr) and discovery (CarWale and CarDekho). The lacuna was trust and transparency. America had created an efficient market for used cars, but India didn't have that," Talwar explains.

Of course, the market itself is like an eight-lane highway. India is the third largest automobile economy in the world after China and the US, with transactions worth $100 billion each year. According to data from SIAM, domestic sales of two-wheelers grew 3 per cent to 16,455,911 units in 2015/16, while passenger vehicles rose 7 per cent to 2,789,678 units. The used vehicles market is even bigger in terms of volumes. About 1.3 used cars are sold for every new car, and 1.6 used two-wheelers are sold for every new one. Besides vehicle sales, there is the automobile services market worth about $25 billion.

"India now has a sizeable installed base. Plus, people are changing their vehicles more often. But then the experience of buying a used automobile is ancient. This industry could benefit from new innovations," Aggarwal says, animatedly, sitting in his conference room adorned with car models.

Droom's innovations have led to an upward ratchet of impressive numbers. The company, today, has an annualised GMV of $175 million, by mostly aiding two-wheeler transactions (65 per cent), cars (30 per cent) and services such as warranty, repair and maintenance, and roadside assistance (5 per cent). The start-up is targeting $500 million in GMV by 2017. Its website lists everything that has a wheel and a motor - from bicycles and super bikes to luxury cars, planes and yachts. It charges a commission of 1.5 per cent to 2.5 per cent from the seller for transactions, a 12 per cent commission for services, and a premium subscription from professional sellers. The firm has 47,000 dealers listed. These numbers, which wowed even the jury of Business Today's Coolest Start-ups edition, were garnered because Droom was able to solve the lacuna that Talwar of Lightbox mentioned, that of trust and transparency.

"Unlike the US, Western Europe or Japan, India is a low-trust market. We saw this as an opportunity," Aggarwal states. He along with his team devised five pillars to answer typical questions that concern buyers and sellers. The company launched Eco, a way of inspecting a vehicle. Both the seller and buyer may want to buy an Eco report of a vehicle before transacting - the seller to improve his chances of selling and the buyer to avoid unpleasant surprises. Once the demand for a report is generated, an independent auto mechanic is tasked by Droom to inspect.

Along with Eco, Droom also built the 'Full Circle Trust Score' that uses data science to rate a listing. The score, between 1 and 10, is arrived at by considering different metrics - the pictures uploaded, the quality of pictures, whether the seller is verified, if he is offering auto inspection and warranty, and also the pricing. Like most online auto portals, Droom, too, has a pricing engine. Its third pillar, the Orange Book Value, is an algorithmic pricing engine.The last two pillars are about self declaration from the seller about any known problems.

While consumer-to-consumer sales happen, the presence of dealers adds impetus. Business Today spoke to Shyam Trehan, whose family owns Rahul Motors, a bike dealer, in Delhi's Karol Bagh. He has been listing on Droom for over a year. "We were previously dependent on walk-in customers. However, Karol Bagh is congested. Walk-in customers dropped over time," he says. Online listing is now generating additional business for him. "We sold around 80 vehicles per month. Now, after listing on Droom, our sales have doubled."

Droom is not alone on the race track; there is growing competition. Apart from the older classified sites and the likes of CarTrade (which acquired CarWale), newer start-ups, too, are offering used auto transactions. There is Spinny promising "200-point, fully inspected used cars", GoZoomo that claims to have "the largest cluster of verified listings", Truebil which is into simplified car trading, Cars24 that assures you can "sell your car in 30 minutes" and CredR that only deals in used bikes.

Aggarwal believes Droom is ahead on the track. The company's innovations around trust, transparency, its focus on engineering and use of data science as well as analytics to measure everything are making it a winner. "We are five years ahead of the market," he asserts.

Someone knocks on the glass door of his conference room. It is time for his next meeting. He must speed off.

Droom: Rent a chopper online

Transaction-oriented online marketplace Droom looks to rent or sell anything that has wheels, say with demand pouring from customers ranging from corporates to doting lovers wishing to propose mid-air, aircraft rentals are picking up on Droom.in. Started off as an online marketplace for sale and rental of new and used two-wheelers and three-wheelers two years ago, Droom now aspires to be a one-stop shop for anything that has wheels, says founder and chief executive Sandeep Aggarwal, better known as the ShopClues founder.

Founded in April 2014 in California's Silicon Valley and now based out of Gurgaon, Droom is India's first online marketplace to buy and sell new and used automobiles, and automobile services. Calling itself India's only transaction-oriented online marketplace for automobiles, Droom looks to differentiate from peers such as Cardekho and Cartrade, which are discovery platforms following the classifieds model.

Droom has seen aircraft such as the Falcon, Hawk and Cessna being rented for destination wedding, marriage proposal, corporate events, etc. Through the online marketplace, one can also buy aircraft priced at Rs 47 crore onwards. It also sells yachts, boats and helicopters. Droom offers business-to-business, business-to-customer, and customer-to-customer marketplace options with fixed price, auctions and best offer selling formats.

The start-up raised around $25 million in funding last month, led by Singapore-based investor Beenext and Japanese incubator and venture capital firm Digital Garage. The company had in 2015 raised $16 million from Lightbox Ventures.

Droom.in is now looking to make available segways, golf carts, trucks and buses on its platform.

According to Aggarwal, the start-up will be playing around three areas for its growth - product innovation, categories, and geographies. "I spend 60 per cent of my daily time on product innovation," says Aggarwal, adding the number of new features being added per month shot up from 30 in the first half of 2015 to 120-140 now.

Droom intends to move from the current 16 categories to 22 by March 2017, which will include trucks, buses, segways and golf carts, among others. "We will also expand into fintech and auto loans," says Aggarwal. As for geographies, Droom intends to move up from its current presence in 350 cities.

From a gross market value (GMV) of $160 million (Rs 1,000 crore), the company has set a GMV target of $520 million (Rs 3,500 crore) for FY17. It will continue to focus on the used vehicles space, which offers commissions of up to 12 per cent compared with three per cent in new vehicles category.

Last year, 3.5 million used cars were sold in India and industry estimates suggest sales of used cars will reach eight million units by 2020. The used car market is growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 20-22 per cent and the market is currently valued at $15 billion.

On its part, Droom charges 1.5 per cent of the price of each car sold through its platform and two per cent for two-wheelers. It charges 12 per cent for automobile services such as insurance and warranty.

According to Aggarwal, the company's GMV-to-human resource ratio stands at $1 million annualised GMV per person, which he says is the highest among start-ups in the country. As an example of efficient operations and intelligent use of technology, Aggarwal says his start-up has only three employees in customer support. He aims to touch Rs 250 crore in GMV per customer support employee, by using keywords-based Frequently Asked Questions or use of interactive voice response.

The funds raised will also be used to strengthen its technology base and for overseas operations. It had posted revenues worth Rs 93 lakh in FY15 and a loss of Rs 2.2 crore.

It attracts about three million visitors a month on its website from 145 cities, while 2.5 million people download its mobile app.

Commenting on Droom's transaction-oriented business model, Amit Jain, co-founder and CEO of GirnarSoft, the parent company of CarDekho.com, said worldwide, the classifieds model is the most popular one. According to him, actual transactions hardly happen online.

FACT BOX

Inception: November 2011

Area of business: Marketplace for wellness and fitness trainers

Funding: $6 million in Series-A by Blume Ventures, IDG Ventures & Inventus Capital

Goals: To have five million users on its platform by 2018

EXPERT TAKE

Droom is a vertical online marketplace for trading used vehicles and motorcyles, and related services. Most companies such as CarTrade, Carewale, Cardekho (vertically-focused), Olx, Quikr, etc. (horizontally-focused) operate as listing portals. Whereas Droom focuses on a "transaction model", where it charges a commission on transactions. Since listing is free, getting sellers on its site/app is easier.

However, in India, building a reliable network of used vehicle dealers, and managing and tracking commissions on transaction closures, are difficult and expensive. Droom's success would depend on being able to execute its business plan efficiently. Buying a car is a large ticket decision for customers and having a strong brand is important. Purchase of a vehicle is a once in five years event and hence, it is tougher to create customer loyalty. Due to high cost of advertising and buyout, brand building is an expensive and time-consuming endeavour. Along with e-commerce players, car manufactures such as Mahindra First Choice are vying for a spot in the market. They have strong brand value, deep sector expertise and extensive reach. Hence, ability for Droom to scale rapidly would be critical. Cost of traffic acquisition and conversion is the critical determinant of success. It operates in competitive space and faces strong brands and entrenched players. Cost of customer acquisition is high and customer loyalty is low. AutoTrader.uk, the leading player in England, spends five per cent of its revenues on marketing, whereas Indian firms spend five to eight times as much, that depresses profitability.

Aggressive marketing spends and discounts force firms to incur sustained losses and require large funds to break even. New entrant Droom will have to become differentiated in this crowded space by being innovative, staying focused, and delivering high and sustainable value to the customers to succeed.

Top 5 Things What Does It Take To Be A Serial Entrepreneur

Having worked in corporate environment in Silicon Valley, Seattle and India for 12 years prior to founding ShopClues, I can say it with high conviction that whether you are a first time or serial entrepreneur, it is among the most demanding, challenging and difficult career choices you would make. While it may sound counter intuitive to many, I strongly believe that being a serial entrepreneur is so much tougher than first time entrepreneur because you have inherited legacy issues, some time have lesser patience and falling in love again has never been easy.

So here are the five critical factors that in my view are super important to be a serial entrepreneur:

Perseverance And Resilience

While you are first time entrepreneur or serial, perseverance and resilience are hallmark of success for being an entrepreneur. However, these traits are more important second time or in your subsequent ventures because having gone thru once as an entrepreneur, you can lot many times can see many things before they occur, you may have some time sense of entitlements or you may have your own legacy issues/thinking serving as a big hurdle. Hence, perseverance and resilience are the only way you will come back and come up!

Be Ready To Fall In Love All Over Again

Does not matter, whether you had successful exit or outcome from your last startup or not, the next startup needs all of your love and attention. So if you are unable to move on from your first love, you will likely have issues building a new life with your new startup. This is not practically and emotionally easy but one must move on and fall in love all over again. Every new venture needs 110 percent or your love and attention and it does not matter whether it is first time or 5th time.

Patience

As a serial, you are loaded up with rich experience and grip on so many topics. However, most if not all of your team, may still be doing things first time. It is better to have patience and let them do things and even fail vs. behaving like grandfather or grandmother we and kill the empirical learning and newness for others. So, in my view, one needs to be a bit patience and let everyone graduated on their on from those learning that you likely graduated in your prior venture (s).

Learning From Mistakes

One should become serial entrepreneur only when they can learn from their mistakes, evolve and be ready to make new set of mistakes. If one does not learn from mistakes, then he will likely make same mistakes again and again and likely may not evolve. Startups and investors have lots of tolerance for mistakes but it becomes increasingly less tolerant when you make same mistakes again and again.

Long-Term Approach

It does not matter whether it is your first startup, second time or fifth time, you always need to have long term approach and solve business with innovative approaches, strong fundamentals and build to last type of mindset. In my view, it takes 6-8 years to create from scratch a world-class business and not keeping a long-term approach will only hurt.

Droom announces monsoon package for car owners

The offer is applicable to Droom maintenance packages worth up to Rs 1,999 and can be availed only by users in the cities of Delhi/NCR, Mumbai and Bangalore.

India's online automobile transactional marketplace Droom has launched its special Monsoon Package for car owners, allowing them to avail car maintenance services for a flat price of Rs 499.

The offer is applicable to Droom maintenance packages worth up to Rs 1,999 and can be availed only by users in the cities of Delhi/NCR, Mumbai and Bangalore.

So be it headlight focussing, beam adjustment, wiper blade check & adjustment, air filter check & cleaning, battery check, mud flap check & alignment, self-start &other electrical checks, or a complete shampoo wash and polish, users will have access to a diverse array of maintenance services.

Speaking on the announcement, Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder and CEO, Droom, said, "With our latest Monsoon Package, we are looking to help car owners take care of these issues even before they crop up. The offer underlines Droom's commitment to deliver the best automobile-related services to our users. We are confident that they will welcome our effort to make car ownership much more convenient and value-efficient for them."

The offer, which is currently live on Droom's web and app platforms, is scheduled to run till September 15.

Why informal meetings work best for startups

A lot can happen over a cup of coffee, especially for startups and entrepreneurs. Be it a client meeting, a hiring interview or a strategic business discussion with partners, comfortable lounge chairs and cups of cappuccinos have largely replaced boardrooms and formal suits for the country’s budding entrepreneurial community. But as a growing number of ventures opt for informal settings such as coffee shops for their professional meetings, one cannot help but wonder about the reasons behind this shift.

The prime reason behind the increasing popularity of an informal backdrop as a business setting for entrepreneurs is the emergence of the vibrant and energised startup culture. Startups differentiate themselves from larger organisations on the basis of their unconventional approach which revolves around innovation, flexibility and open-ended communication channels. This fosters creativity and fuels hyper growth for startups through greater involvement and better strategy development.

Some people think such informality is detrimental to business. On the contrary, startup people thrive on the randomness, achieving the impossible on a regular basis, even in a high-pressure situation where everything is up in the air. This is why most startups have informal discussions as a major part of their in-house strategy in order to address employee grievances and deliver feedback. Having an informal setup also opens up new feedback channels and leads to better communication between the employer and the employee.

People involved with startups, be it the CEO or an intern, are often too intensively involved with the company, working for long hours and weekend shifts with little leisure time. Going into a formal meeting surrounded by PowerPoint presentations and sombre faces wearing suits after this is nobody’s idea of fun. Informal meetings allow startup professionals to let off steam without affecting the objective of the discussion by integrating fun and business.

Even hiring, for startups, is not conducted within the confines of air-conditioned meeting rooms. It is extremely likely that the interview is conducted over a cup of coffee or brunch which is paid for by the interviewer. This allows candidates to be more relaxed and even instils a sense of belonging and loyalty in the very first meeting. Given how topsy-turvy a startup journey can often get, having people on board who are willing to stick through the thick and the thin becomes very critical, which is why informal meetings are finding such acceptance within the entrepreneurial community.

There is also an element of autonomy and sense of ownership with the people involved with startups. Such self-reliance helps different startup functions to operate efficiently as independent units as well as an integrated, concentrated effort aimed at strengthening the venture. However, this also means that startup professionals do not fit in well within a more formal setting. There have been examples of startup professionals switching jobs when they find their current jobs too rigid, inflexible and reluctant to innovate.

Startups, today, are going beyond boardrooms and encouraging informality to break the monotony to make their meetings more productive. The reason is simple, they believe in open door and transparency. Young entrepreneurs are finding such informal meetings valuable as they are able to gain multiple insights and points-of-view, allowing them to make the best decisions for their businesses and co-workers.

The author is founder of Droom and Shopclues.

OTR teams-up with Droom to offer on-ground safety assistance

One Touch Response and Droom, an online marketplace to buy and sell automobiles, collaborated to step-up the safety quotient of customers and also provide timely on-ground assistance through its 'Road Side Assistance' offer that spans Delhi NCR viz., Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon & Faridabad.

One Touch Response and Droom, an online marketplace to buy and sell automobiles, collaborated to step-up the safety quotient of customers and also provide timely on-ground assistance through its ‘Road Side Assistance’ offer that spans Delhi NCR viz., Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon & Faridabad.

Services of One Touch Response (OTR) is accessible via the OTR mobile app (available on iOS, Android and Windows) or on call.

One Touch Response provides on-demand safety and assistance services to users in India whenever they face any real life situation involving personal safety or situations where they require assistance.

Droom is online marketplace to buy and sell new and used automobiles and automobile services with a presence on three platforms i.e. Android, iOS and Desktop.

Manoj Chandra, CEO One Touch Response commented, "While there are government agencies to help, there are situations even when these agencies cannot provide you with much help. For instance, if your coming home and your car breaks down, you are unsafe. You may call on 100, but that won’t really help you in that situation because police can’t fix your car. That’s where we come in."

Some of the OTR service offerings include:

● One point contact for any situation which requires safety, protection or assistance, be it – being stranded alone, physical threats, stalking, accidents, road rage, fire, medical situations, car trouble, etc. on the Road or at home/office.

● Dedicated Mobile App for easy and simple access to the service. Automatically tracks and dials the Command & Control Centre while simultaneously sending out an alert with GPS coordinates to the nearest Immediate Assistance Teams. It also alerts your family members automatically.

● 24X7 Command & Control Centre for safety tracking and immediate on call assistance and guidance.

● On-ground Immediate Assistance Teams – verified, professionally trained responders stationed strategically across NCR (Delhi, Noida & Gurgaon).

● Coordination with the nearest external resources i.e. Police, Ambulance Service, Medical Services, Fire, Car Mechanics, Handymen, etc. depending upon the nature of the emergency.

● TrackME service provides regular check-in calls to update; ideal for women when they are travelling alone at odd hours

Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder & CEO, Droom commented, "This collaboration with One Touch increases the bandwidth of our product offerings and aids us in providing more tech-driven automotive solutions for our consumers. We believe One Touch Response’s on-ground assistance services, wide network, and ease of accessibility of the services will be of great value to our customers."

Online charter operators party in the sky

CHENNAI: On April Fools’ day last year, an online marketplace for ‘everything with an engine’ Droom, put out an offer. "Want a plane? Buy one online on Droom now!" it shouted. It was a joke, of course, and one that the company’s founders had a good laugh about. But three months and several serious requests later, Droom had no choice but to make the joke a reality.

The anecdote, narrated by Droom co-founder Rishab Malik on how they began renting private planes and helicopters in August 2015, is a sign. No longer are chartered flights — both private jets and helicopters, limited to a minute fraction of the Indian populace. As the number of millionaires and billionaires in the country increases, so does the demand for the exotic.

And what is more exotic than celebrating a birthday on a private jet to Goa?

"Yes, it’s a high glamour category, especially for an online aggregator, but we are seeing an increasing demand for such things," observed Malik, when asked whether taking something this niche online actually works.

To be fair, Droom has not managed to sell either of the private jets it has for sale. But what it is selling is around three ‘aerial experience’ packages a month. During peak times, the transaction volume goes up to as much as seven.

Droom is not the only such provider. Kanika Tekriwal’s startup JetSetGo had begun offering chartered flights online. "We wanted to ensure people with diverse financial backgrounds have the option to travel by private jet," said Tekriwal, founder of JetSetGo, during the launch of its JetSteals program. JetSteals has prices ranging from Rs 4,600 to Rs 45,000 and allows passengers to book seats on private jets to regions in India that commercial flights do not take.

There are a few others, including some established charter operators, but Droom seems to have hit on a segment no one else has paid much attention to — once in a lifetime experiences. Apart from the normal business and political travellers, Droom is offering those with the moolah aerial birthday parties, bachelor and bachelorette parties and even joyrides.

"Weddings and parties are huge sells. For example, we had people who hired a Falcon 600, which seats around 15 to 16, for a wedding. It cost them around Rs 7.5 lakhs for 3.5 hours," pointed out Malik.

The pricing varies widely, depending upon the duration, the distance and the number of people. But the destination and airport handling charges also play a vital role in pricing. Right now, a short stint on a helicopter can cost up to Rs 2 - 3 lakh. A private jet can cost up to Rs 5 - 7 lakh.

But for one time experiences, people are not too stingy. Ashwin Ram, from Chennai, threw a bachelor party before his wedding in May that cost him around Rs 1.5 lakh. "If it gets me an experience that people talk about for a while, I wouldn’t have minded spending a lakh or so more," he said .

Partying aside, another major source of revenue for online chartered flight aggregators are pilgrimages. "There are people who go to pilgrimages where the only option to fly to is hours away. But there are small airstrips and airports that can handle small planes that are closer. Developing them could boost both charter operators and regional connectivity," said Amber Dubey, Partner, Aerospace and Defence, KPMG.

The entire segment is growing anywhere between 15 per cent and 25 per cent depending on who you ask and if the National Civil Aviation Policy succeeds in overhauling the hundreds of unused small airports in the country, charters and online providers of charter services might well graduate from providing niche services to catering to less serviced locations.

Until then, you can always party on your own private jet. For just about Rs 3 lakh.

Five startups led by married co-founders

Finding the right co-founder is one of the toughest jobs while starting a new venture. Finding a life partner is no less difficult. Some entrepreneurs have been enterprising enough to club the two.

However, couples founding startups isn’t as counter-intuitive. Those who have tied the double knot say running a startup is somewhat akin to ensuring a successful marriage – commitment, trust and shared goals are necessary in both.

"In my portfolio, there are several ‘couple co-founders’, either real-life couples or a male-female combination. For example, Naturally Yours is steered by a husband-wife duo. Mech Mocha, which recently got funded by Flipkart and Blume Ventures, is another one," said Sanjay Mehta, an angel investor, in a recent interview to Techcircle.

Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder & CEO, Droom

Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder & CEO, Droom in conversation with Chahat Jain of BWBusinessworld says that India is third largest automobile market in the world after US & China. There was a need for a platform which could provide genuine information about pre owned vehicles to both buyers and sellers. Within six months of launch, Droom became the fourth largest in the market.

Busting The Business Stress With Yoga

This would be the last place to tell you about the benefits of yoga, however, we can guarantee that every entrepreneur we've talked to boasts of this ancient practice.

Yoga remains one of the oldest activity humans have been following and the numbers of people practicing have only increased with years. Even the most accomplished ones make time for yoga in their busy lives, and yogis like Baba Ramdev have become a true yogapreneur with his successful ayurvedic business ‘Patanjali’.

We asked some entrepreneurs how yoga has been helpful in their entrepreneurial journey.

Yoga is a way of life

Year 2010 was the stepping stone for Dr. Smita Gautam when she founded Health First to demystify homeopathy and yoga making it accessible for everyone particularly people suffering from life challenging or life style diseases to experience how complementary therapies namely homeopathy and yoga can change the way of life supplementing with modern medicine.

Smita shares, "We believe Yoga is a way of life and does not comprise of only physical culture, as generally understood. Our practical applications of yogic ideals in daily life include the simple philosophies behind the techniques of yoga that contributes to better living."

She is a pioneer in therapeutic yoga that means one-to-one approach for individual specific conditions and purposes with a specific focus on health and healing.

You need an expert

Mr.Sujayath Ali, Co-Founder of Voonik believes yoga is an art and it should be done with the right training. he stresses on the importance of getting a trainer. He says, "I think yoga is a holistic practice for both body and mind. I try to get up early to include a bit of Yoga to make my days productive. A couple of breathing exercises give me the right balance and clarity of thought. But I also believe that to get full benefit of Yoga, one should get a good trainer. Done right Yoga can be one of the most powerful workouts, so you need an expert who understands your body and can help you with the right asanas and breathing exercises, to achieve any of your health goals such as weight loss, increase in strength, flexibility and more."

Takes care of exercise and stress

Umang Srivastava, JMD at Bonita India says yoga has given him the flexibility and ease no other practice has. He says, "Any lifestyle disease or condition, whether it is diabetes or heart disease, is aggravated by the poor lifestyle we lead. The lack of exercise, a poor diet, and stress are the major reasons for the onset of these diseases, and consequently, for their worsening condition. Yoga, I find, takes care of two of these three aspects: exercise and stress."

"The good thing about yoga is the flexibility it gives me. I can do it either in the morning or evening, or sometimes, at both times. I can use it to energize in the morning, and to calm my mind as I wind down for the day. As I travel frequently, it doesn't need me to carry any fancy equipment so I can do it in a hotel room, in a garden, or even on my living room floor. However, it is not a quick-fix. A yoga practice takes time to cultivate and to get attuned to, and thankfully, this is something I have been able to do, over the years regularly as an integral part of my life," he added.

It’s about discovering your true self

Internationally certified in Yoga Training, Dimple has been an athlete all her life. She is a regular practitioner of not just yoga but other sports as well. She says,

"Yoga is not just asanas practice , it is about self-discipline, devotion , dedication to life…. It’s about discovering your true self , about connecting with the universal divine forces - Journey to Self and beyond."

In an interview in the Entrepreneur Magazine April Edition, Dimple talked about her athletic life and said, "I have always been athletic ever since I can remember. All thanks to my mother, she got me to learn everything from classical dance, music, basketball to tennis. From a very young age of five-six years, I kept swapping between basketball, swimming, cycling, tennis and skating. Post-school, I started with weight training, kickboxing and yoga that I practice every day religiously till date. However, whenever I get a chance I swim, ride a bike (cycle), play tennis or go for a run. My own potential surprises me beyond limits – every day I beat myself, every day I am better and stronger than before, every day I can do something that seemed impossible before. In a nutshell, every session is a story by itself that touches me or enlightens me in one way or the other."

It is a powerful tool of healing

Mr. Manoj Agarwal, Co-Founder of Giftxoxo says, "Yoga for me is beyond exercise, it is a way of life which takes us to health and peace. It has helped me in exploring my inner self and have a positive perspective outwards. I have been an active believer and practitioner of Yoga for almost 10 years now. It is a powerful tool of healing and transformation gifted by our land to the world.''

Until then, you can always party on your own private jet. For just about Rs 3 lakh.

Yoga is the exercise of the soul

Co-founder and CEO of YourDOST Richa Singh is a regular practioner of Yoga and considers it as a great method to effectively reduce stress at the workplace. She says,"To me, yoga is the exercise of the soul which helps me become the best version of myself."

Yoga is the most powerful gift from India to the world.

Mr. Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder and CEO - Droom says, "Yoga has helped me tremendously. In the beginning of 2016, I would frequently feel burnt out as I used to work 18-19 hours per day. Then I started practicing yoga and it increased my energy and concentration levels manifolds. I was so satisfied with my experience that I rolled it out at Droom also, wherein a yoga instructor comes to the office certain times a month and all Droomers can participate in a professional yoga session. While I still do not practice yoga as much as I would like to, I believe that the benefits far exceed the time spend. I strongly believe that Yoga is the most powerful gift from India to the world."

Old is Gold: Owning a vintage vehicle is suddenly cool again
Pitching It Right: 10 Things You Should Avoid Making A Part Of Your Investor Pitch Deck

If you have spent many a sleepless night conceptualising the idea for your start-up, developing it into a product and perfecting it, congratulations! You have just completed the first phase of your journey as an entrepreneur. It is now time to rope in investors into backing your dream and turn it into a reality.

This is where a pitch deck gains relevance. By giving potential investors insights into your plan, your product and your future vision with a couple of PowerPoint slides, a pitch deck can convince them that your product and business is worth investing in and help you seal the deal. However, while creating an investor pitch deck, care must be taken to ensure that you don’t make the following mistakes while presenting your ideas to investors:

Too Little, Too Less

To invest into a venture, an investor needs to a fair amount of knowledge about the company, the product and the team associated with it. If the information given is deemed inadequate, a potential investor might choose to err at the side of caution and pull out from the funding drive. Giving out enough information therefore becomes necessary for start-ups to secure their investments.

Too Much Information, Literally

While giving adequate information about the start-up to potential investors is something that should be aspired for, there can often be instances where entrepreneurs tend to overcompensate and give out too much information all at once with verbose text and multiple slides. This information overload can put off potential investors. As such, you must take care to ensure that each slide is concise and talks precisely about the objectives in hand. Using pie charts and graphs to represent textual information in easy-to-decipher pictorial form can also help in keeping the pitch crisp and to the point but make sure you don’t overdo it.

The Great Unbalancing Act

It is crucial to have a well-balanced team in order to sustain any company. In start-ups, which generally operate on lean teams and shoestring budgets, it becomes even more vital to find the right balance of talent. Investors often invest as much in the team as they do in the idea. However, many a time, entrepreneurs bring in too many individuals on an advisory or freelance role instead of building a proper team. While this dependence on advisors may help start-ups save money in the short run, it can also put investors off by giving an impression of instability and potentially undo the good work done by the venture.

Counting Your Chickens Before They Hatch

Imagine a scenario where you’re in talks with a set of investors and are quite confident in securing investments from them. Because it is almost a done deal, you add these names in your next pitch to different investors to add more weight to your proposal. But if you think this is a sound idea, think again. The investment community is a tightly-knit community in which news travels fast. Putting in names before you’ve signed the dotted line not only hits your credibility with future investors, but might also strain your relationships with the existing ones. And let us not even talk about the PR disaster that might ensue should these ‘sure-shot’ investors pull out at the last moment.

A similar approach must be followed while representing team strength. Only talk about people you have on board instead of boasting about those that can potentially join you. This could end up undermining your investment pitch instead of strengthening it.

Overselling Aggressive Expansion Plans

Aiming to achieve your business goals is good but overselling that aim to the investor might lead to challenges later on in your growth journey. While you may have a business idea that may evolve with time into many independent business verticals, whenever pitching your idea’s future, you must break the long term mission into smaller, more achievable short-term goals. This will help in setting more realistic expectations with the investor and can help you in securing the funds you need.

Lack Of A Focussed Approach

Do not try to impress your investors with a pitch deck that promises more alacrity than action. It is good to have realistic goals which you are confident of achieving within pre-meditated timelines. Overcrowding your growth plans with tangential targets that may lack relevance to your actual business, will mean spreading yourself thin on the credibility margins. Offering too many ideas in one go might give the impression of an uncertain approach to the investors, who may then hold back funds.

Making Misleading Or False Claims

As an entrepreneur, you must always be honest and precise with the information you present, especially to the investors. While inflating the numbers a little or presenting them in a different light might appeal to you when trying to secure a much-needed investment, this can also put investors off from funding your venture and can also damage your credibility as an entrepreneur. Therefore, adequate care must be taken to ensure that all numbers, facts and data incorporated in your pitch must not be false or misleading.

Not Showing Enough Commitment As Founder

Being a founder is a great responsibility which requires you to be passionate about your venture and be committed to all aspects of its business. This must also reflect through in your investment pitch. Having a passive pitch might create a negative impression in the minds of the investors and decrease your chances of securing an investment.

Talking About Alternate Business Plans

While you may think that adding information about the success of your previous business ventures might add greater impact to your investment pitch, the reality could end up being quite different. The pitch deck is created to showcase the game-plan of your start-up. Therefore, you must avoid putting in too many details of your other ventures and focus on the positives of the start-up you’re pitching to the investors.

A Lack Of Ambition

Investors need to see quality as well as ambition in your plans. Showing bleak or no plans for future expansion can be interpreted as a lack of ambition. It is therefore important to chart out an elaborate growth plan for at least a couple of years down the line. This will depict the stability of your business and a desire to grow as an organisation.

Note from Inc42: The views and opinions expressed in guest posts are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views held by Inc42, its creators or employees. If you find yourself violently disagreeing with something and want to educate the world, please contact us about writing a guest post of your own providing the opposite side of the issue. Inc42 is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the guest bloggers.

Droom Vroom with Scooter Looter Sale
Scooter Looter Sale
India's digital revolution similar to Europe's industrial revolution: Droom's Sandeep Aggarwal

Fresh from the massive Rs. 200 crore funding round, automobile marketplace, Droom, Co-founder and CEO, Sandeep Aggarwal says the digital revolution in India is unprecedented and is no less than the industrial revolution experienced by Europe in beginning in the second half of the 18th century.

"In 2010 India had created only about $3 billion in Internet wealth and in 2015 it was $35 billion. In my view, by 2018 it will be $100 billion and by 2020 we should be hitting $250 billion. Nowhere in the world would you find an opportunity like this and digital revolution in the country is no less than the industrial revolution in Europe, the rise of America after World War 1, rise of Japan after World War 2, the automobile revolution in Detroit and the rise of the Internet in the US and China. These are broad six to seven man made opportunities to create wealth and social transformation," says Aggarwal.

Aggarwal, a second-time entrepreneur, finalized the idea to start Droom in April 2014. "I looked at a lot of ideas, but finally settled on Droom because India is the third largest automobile market in the world and an online marketplace to buy used automobiles made sense. We finally launched Droom on November 21, 2014, a date which is important to me since I had started ShopClues on the same date three years before," says Aggarwal. Since then, Droom has expanded to 15 categories, which include bicycles, scooters, motorcycles, cars, luxury cars, super bikes, and even planes and helicopters. "We did not want to be limited to automobiles and expanded to automobile services," says Aggarwal.

Business has been brisk for Droom as Aggarwal was recently said the company has 47,000 B2C sellers on board, 55,000 listings and its annualized GMV at the end of April was at $160 million. Aggarwal says the company is now targeting gross merchandise sales of $10 billion by 2020.

Explaining how the company makes money, Co-founder and VP, Business Development, Rishab Malik says Droom charges a commission on everything sold on Droom. "A two-wheeler has a commission of 2 %, a car has 1.5 % of the value of the transaction and depending on the category the commission rate changes. We also have a services business that includes auto inspection, car-care and detailing, road-side assistance among others and in this business we make about 12% commission. Most of our business comes from commission on selling cars and bikes, but another revenue avenue for us has been in the form of advertisement from automobile and financial services companies," says Malik.

At a time when most companies are struggling to raise money, Droom's business has seen validation from investors in the latest funding round. The Series B round of equity financing has been led by Singapore-based investor Beenext, who has also backed ShopClues.

"If you are an entrepreneur, you should see an opportunity the size of a Mount Everest when others regard it as a pebble. Never jump into the entrepreneurial bandwagon simply because it is glamorous and you want to be your own boss. Being an entrepreneur is one of the toughest jobs in the world and is lonely and draining," says Aggarwal.

One Touch Response offers Droom’s customers 24×7 safety

One Touch Response India’s 1st Safety & Immediate Assistance Service announces a tie-up with Droom, India’s leading online market place for buying and selling automobiles to make its Road Side Assistance Services available online on Droom’s portal to automobile owners. The intent is to step-up the safety quotient of the customers and also timely on-ground assistance.

"The Road Side Assistance offer can be purchased exclusively on Droom’s website, and will be applicable across locations in Delhi NCR viz., Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon and Faridabad. Services of One Touch Response (OTR) is accessible via the OTR mobile app (available on iOS, Android and Windows) or on call.

Under the Road Side Assistance package, the customers can buy a yearly subscription for Rs. 1499. The subscriber can extend this service to one of his family members for free. The subscribers can avail the services 24X7 for situations like road rage, accidents, stranded without safe transport, car breakdown, stolen vehicle or accident. Depending on the nature of emergency, OTR would also provide emergency fuel assistance, jump start, flat tyre change, key retrieval, tow truck and mechanic provision, on-call cab and ambulance service by coordinating with its empaneled service partners at a negotiated fee.

Moreover, upon activation of the package, the primary user would also be eligible for Personal Accident Insurance worth Rs. 50,000 for 12 months. The subscribers would also get unlimited TrackME services (On-Demand Live Tracking and Monitoring of Personal Safety while travelling alone, at wee hours or through unsafe locations).

Talking about the association, Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder & CEO, Droom commented, "Utilising our disruptive mobile-first approach, we have firmly established ourselves as a forerunner in the online automobile segment in India. This latest collaboration with One Touch increases the bandwidth of our product offerings and aids us in providing more tech-driven automotive solutions for our consumers. We believe One Touch Response’s unparalleled on-ground assistance services, wide network, and ease of accessibility of the services will be of great value to our customers." Arvind Khanna, Founder, One Touch Response says, "We are delighted to be in an exclusive partnership with Droom and make our services available to their customers. Droom has revolutionised the automobile market in India and I am confident that our joint offering through this tie-up will be valued by their customers and bring further traction to both OTR and Droom."

Immediate on-call assistance is available within seconds of a user raising an alarm. While the Incident Managers at the OTR Command & Control Centre are hand holding the user during the crisis over the phone, OTR’s on-ground physical support teams called Immediate Assistance Teams (IATs) are alerted to reach the subscriber within minutes. IATs then remain with the user till the emergency is resolved. Depending on the nature of the emergency, OTR’s extensive database of emergency service providers enables it to address all sorts of emergencies in a swift and responsible manner.

5 Mistakes New-Age Enterpreneurs Make : Entrepreneur Magazine
Five OnePlus 3 smartphones up for charity auction on Droom before launch

OnePlus 3, the latest flagship device set to launch on June 14 is up for auction even before the launch event on Droom. The company teamed with Droom, a pioneering online automobile marketplace to conduct first ever smartphone auction where the prospective buyers will get a chance to bid on the platform to win five OnePlus 3 devices before the official Amazon sale on June 15th. 12:30AM . The auction will go live from June 9, 4 PM to June 12, 3:59:59 PM. The top five bidders for the devices will own the "first-ever OnePlus 3s in India".

The proceedings from the auction will go to a charity chosen by the OnePlus community through voting on the Forums. Vikas Agarwal, General Manager added that "We are excited by the response from the OnePlus community to our latest flagship. Through this unique smartphone auction, we want to offer our loyal fans an opportunity to get their hands on the first few OnePlus 3 smartphones in the country, even before it goes on sale while also contributing to the society."

There will be a special gift attached to the first devices which has not been revealed yet. To participate in the auction the bidders should head over to the Droom website and register themselves. Bidding will start from Rs 1 with no cap to the final price with each bid increasing the price by Rs 5. There will be a live leaderboard of top 10 bids in real time and top 5 will be sent links to purchase phones they bid for immediately after the auction closes. The devices will be delivered after the global launch on 14 June.

After used car sales, Droom set to drive into new vehicle segment; eyes foreign markets

Droom, the online marketplace for used automobiles started by Shopclues founder Sandeep Aggarwal, is set to launch new vehicle category by September this year.

Droom offers B2B, B2C and C2C marketplace option with fixed price, auctions and best offer selling formats.

Droom, the online marketplace for used automobiles started by Shopclues founder Sandeep Aggarwal, is set to launch new vehicle category by September this year. The company, which has set an annualised GMV target of R3,500 crore for FY 17, also plans to expand its presence in South-East Asian countries by November this year.

Speaking to FE, Sandeep Aggarwal, founder of Droom Technologies said, "So far, we are operating only in the used-vehicle category and have become the largest online automobile marketplace. We will be introducing the new-vehicle category shortly (by September) and will have tie-ups with the manufacturers and dealers."

"However, our focus will remain in the used-vehicle category and we do not expect the new-vehicle segment to overtake our existing business. The margins are infact higher for used-vehicle category, wherein, the commission goes up to 12%. in the new-vehicle category, it is just about 3%," Aggarwal said.

Droom offers B2B, B2C and C2C marketplace option with fixed price, auctions and best offer selling formats. Last month, the company secured $200 million in funding led by Singapore-based investor Beenext and Japanese incubator and venture capital firm Digital Garage. The company had earlier raised $16 million in 2015 from Lightbox Ventures.

According to the company, the funds raised will be used to strengthen its technology and for overseas operations. In FY15, the company posted revenues of R93 lakh and loss of R2.2 crore. The company says it recorded R800 crore as GMV at the end of March 2016.

"We have double our business until April. In May we touched R80 crore in revenues. We are well ahead of our target and 25% of the funds raised will be earmarked for international expansion. By November we will start with Indonesia and further expand to Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and Thailand," Aggarwal said.

The USP of Droom is the luxury car sales, which, the company says is growing faster than all other categories. The company also lists choppers and flight on its platform for sale and rentals.

"Luxury car segment is shaping up very well. At least we have registered R100 crore worth of business in this segment. While, no one has purchased planes on our platform yet, we have two dozen plane rentals and the demand comes from rich families, political parties and corporates in Delhi, Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Bengaluru," Aggarwal said.

Last year around 3.5 million used cars were sold in India and a recent Crisil study has forecast that the sales of used cars will reach around 8 million units by 2020. The used car market is growing at 20-22% CAGR and the market is currently valued at $15 billion.

Droom raises funds from Beenext, others

Droom is believed to have raised about $25-$35 million in the current round, taking its valuation to around $200 million

Droom was started by Sandeep Aggarwal in 2014, after he quit ShopClues, the e-commerce marketplace which he founded, in 2013 when he was arrested for insider trading in the US.

New Delhi: Online marketplace for pre-owned automobiles Droom, run by Droom Technology Pvt. Ltd, has raised an undisclosed amount in Series B round led by Singapore-based early stage technology fund Beenext and Japan’s start-up investment and incubation firm Digital Garage, the company said on Wednesday.

Existing investors, including venture capital firm Lightbox and Beenos besides a few new and undisclosed Japanese and Chinese institutional investors, also participated in the round.

The company, which has raised close to $20 million until now, is believed to have raised about $25-$35 million in the current round, taking its valuation to around $200 million, according to three people aware of the development.

Droom declined to comment on the funding round or the valuation.

Droom was started by Sandeep Aggarwal in 2014, after he quit ShopClues, the e-commerce marketplace which he founded, in 2013 when he was arrested for insider trading in the US.

Droom will use the money to scale its operations within the country and also expand overseas. It will also expand its team and enhance its technology platform.

It targets to expand to 200 cities by 2017. The company expects to launch its international operations in Indonesia by October, to be followed by launch in Malaysia, Thailand and Philippines.

Singapore-based Droom last raised Rs.100 crore in July 2015 in a round led by Lightbox.

"India is the third largest automobile market after China and the US. It is a $125 billion industry with roughly $60 billion new and $40 billion used (automobile) and $25 billion of services like auto loan insurances, warranty, road side assistance inspection etc. And as per our estimate, 0.3% is online. We think this market will grow from $125 billion to $250 billion by 2020 and 0.3% will become 8%," said Aggarwal.

Droom, currently has 47,000 business-to-customer sellers (B2C), 23,600 products and 57,000 listings on its platform. It claims it had 3,500 transactions in April.

Currently, the company is doing $160 million in annualized run rate of gross merchandise value (GMV or cost of goods sold) and targets that number to grow to $500 million by March 2017.

The company which has so far been selling used automobiles also plans to enter into a new automobile category and will launch the same in July. The segment will allow OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) to have their own brand stores where they can have videos, brochures and announcements. They will also be able to offer extended test drive to customers.

Droom currently gets 65% of its orders from the two-wheeler segment, 30% from car and the rest from services. The average ticket size in the scooters category is ₹40,000 and ₹68,000 in motorcycles category. In the cars segment, the price ranges around ₹3.5 lakh.

The company is an end-to-end marketplace for selling used automobiles across categories such as car, bike, scooter, bicycles, super bikes, supercars, vintage scooters etc. Besides these, it also offers auto inspection, warranty, roadside assistance, rentals and services and repairs.

However, over 95% of its business currently comes from sale of second-hand vehicles. The company acts as a platform for buyers and sellers to connect and charges anywhere from 1.5%-2.5% commission on every transaction.

It plans to introduce two new products in the next two to five months to add more revenue streams. "We are working on a vehicle history database that will allow consumers to check records of any vehicle from the time it is manufactured to end of life. We are building our own database by reaching out to OEMs, police and other large repositories that store this information," said Aggarwal.

It is also working on a financial product where in consumers will get access to insurance and loans on Droom’s platform.

The company competes with Girnar Software Pvt. Ltd run Cardekho which also raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Google Capital, a late-stage growth venture capital firm and existing investor Hillhouse Capital in March. Another firm Cartrade (MXC solutions Pvt. Ltd) last raised $145 million from Singapore state investment firm Temasek Holdings, US-based March Capital and existing investor Warburg Pincus in January.

Indian used car platform Droom gets Series B to enter Southeast Asian markets

Droom, one of several startups taking advantage of India’s booming secondhand vehicle market, is planning to enter new countries after raising a Series B from Beenext and Digital Garage. The company hasn’t disclosed the amount of the round, but TechCrunch has learned that it’s between $25 to $30 million at a post-money valuation of more than $200 million.

Lightbox and Beenos Partners, which both participated in Droom’s $16 million Series A last year, also returned for this round. Droom currently claims a total of 3,500 transactions are completed every month on its marketplace and that it makes $160 million in annualized gross merchandise volume.

Part of Droom’s Series B will be used to expand into Southeast Asia. The company plans to be in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Thailand by the end of this year.

Droom head Sandeep Aggarwal also founded e-commerce marketplace ShopClues, which claimed unicorn valuation earlier this year and is now planning an initial public offering. Aggarwal left ShopClues in 2013 after the Federal Bureau of Investigation began investigating him for insider trading (he later pled guilty in a plea bargain).

For his re-entrance into the startup world, Aggarwal tells TechCrunch he picked secondhand vehicles because it is one of the fastest-growing markets in India. Aggarwal says that there are 1.3 used vehicles sold for every new one in India and that he believes that ratio will increase to 2:1 by the end of next year.

Demand for secondhand vehicles is fueled by growing purchasing power among consumers as India’s economy grows. Indian car owners tend to upgrade their vehicles more often than their counterparts in other countries as their income grows, adds Aggarwal.

"What is driving demand is aspirational value as education and income levels rise. Someone who does not have a vehicle might start with a used car that is a hatchback, then a sedan, then a mid-size sedan, then a luxury car," he says.

Droom competes against classifieds site OLX, as well as other used car platforms like CarTrade and CarDekho.

Aggarwal says Droom differentiates by using data science to create alternatives to the Kelley Blue Book and CarFax’s vehicle history reports, which are invaluable for secondhand car buyers in the U.S., but don’t exist in India. For example, Droom automatically rates individual listings on a scale of 1 to 10, depending on how much information, documentation, and detailed photos it includes, and also operates an on-demand inspection service called ECO.

Exclusive: Auto marketplace Droom in acquisitive mode, eyes SE Asia foray soon

With the recent Series B funding in its pocket, online automobile market place, Droom, has switched to high gear and is poised for growth through acquisitions as well as extending its footprint to the global markets.

Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder and CEO, Droom

While Droom declined to share the amount raised in the latest funding round, it is understood to have raised around $30 million led by Singapore’s BEENext and Japan-based Digital Garage. Of the total funds raised in the round, the company has earmarked almost 25 per cent for its international expansion. It is also eyeing a couple of acquisitions to help strengthen its operations.

Founded in 2014 in Sillicon Valley, Droom is incorporated in Singapore with offices in Gurgaon and Sillicon Valley. It distinguishes itself from the other auto classifieds websites by claiming to be a trade enabler and rather than adopting a lead-based model.

In an interview with DEALSTREETASIA, Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder and CEO of Droom, shares the company’s plans for international expansion and to acquire companies to strengthen its operations. Aggarwal is also the co-founder of one of the leading Indian e-commerce portals ShopClues.

Edited excerpts:

Can you please elaborate on your plans to foray into the overseas market?

India is the third largest automobile market in the world, so we wanted to make sure that we got India right before we expanded internationally. Later this year we would like to expand to the southeast Asian countries like Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand.

We will go in a phased manner, one country at a time starting with Indonesia. Then we will go one by one into other countries. We think what we are building has a global appeal. Last six months, we have been spending time doing market research, sizing, competition, market mapping of these six countries and the last three months we have been making a lot of changes to our technology, to make it more geography agnostic.

Will you deploy the current model that you have in India to the other countries as well?

Yes, like Uber or Airbnb or Tinder, these companies are present internationally but physically have a very lean presence. We are going to have a very similar model. We will have small teams in each country, probably one or two people in catalogue, one in business development, one in marketing and one in support. A four-five people team in each country is how we will expand.

Would you be interested in any kind of inorganic expansion?

This year we will be acquisitive, we will be acquiring companies. However, we will not be acquiring companies for geographic expansion. We will be acquiring companies for technology or for access to different categories or talent. For geography, we would like to expand organically.

Will these be Indian companies? Are you already in talks?

Yes, we are looking at Indian companies. We are constantly evaluating, we think this year we will be acquiring a couple of companies.

Are there any kind of gaps that you are looking to bridge?

It’s not gaps. There are three key areas for example if someone has done any work for pricing algorithm, someone who has aggregated the automobile services such as auto loans, insurance, warranty, or someone for talent acquisition. We will not acquire a company for revenue or geographical presence.

What sized acquisitions are you looking at?

We have a very strong culture, a very Silicon Valley-styled startup. So, we will clearly not acquire a very large sized company, where we can have an issue with cultural assimilation. We are thinking or small to medium sized companies.

Are you already in talks with companies for acquisitions?

Our team has been looking at various companies for acquisition in the last few months.

Have you earmarked any kind of investment for overseas expansion?

For overseas expansion, we don’t need too much of capital but we are earmarking roughly 25 per cent of the total funds raised in this latest Series B round for international expansion.

Would you look at separate portals for each country? Or regional languages?

We would operate in countries where internet is primarily in English. Each country will have it’s own app and website. So in India if it’s droom.in then hopefully in Singapore it will be droom.sg and so on, whatever is available.

By when will you start your overseas expansion, and by when do you think you would have these countries covered?

We have planned that by Q4 2016 to Q2 2017, we should be nicely available in entire southeast Asia.

What kind of revenue split are you looking at once you start international operations?

In calendar year 2017, we expect 15 per cent of our total revenue to come from international operations. By 2019, international revenues should account for 35 per cent of our revenue and by 2020, more than 50 per cent of our revenues should come from there.

Your final goal is to establish a global company? Are you looking at more countries for expansion beyond Southeast Asia?

Yes, if everything goes well, then in by second half of 2017 we will be in western Europe and in the first half of 2018 we will be in North America.

Europe and North America being developed markets, would have more competition?

The products we are building have global appeal, trust, transparency, pricing, convenience are the need for buyers and sellers. Some places trust has a high deficit and in some places convenience has a high deficit, but the tools we have built are truly global./

You have spoken about going beyond being an automobile marketplace, what are the other models you are looking at?

Beyond automobiles would be automobile services, and rental of services like renting a yacht, aeroplane, helicopter and luxury cars.

Would you want to get into cab rentals or self drive services?

There are a lot of companies for those like Uber and Ola, and we don’t want to compete with them. They have done a great job, but some of the vehicles that are less accessible we are a rental market place for them.

For your overseas expansion are you going to offer your whole portfolio of offerings?

Our core market will remain two-wheeler and four-wheelers, so every new region we expand into we will expand with our core offering. In the countries where two-wheelers are a bigger market than four-wheelers we will start with two-wheelers.

How do you view competition in the international markets?

In China and North America there is significant competition, but in other geographies its not as much.

You run on healthy margins in India right now, how will your international expansion impact those?

Margins will actually be higher. While we have a high gross margin, we charge very little, we charge 1.5 per cent for cars and 2.5 per cent for two-wheelers. In China and US, automobile market places are charging between 5-8 per cent. So when we go to those markets we can participate on much higher margins.

Does that give you pricing advantage as well?

Yes, that can probably help us to gain traction.

Droom raises Rs 200 crore from a consortium of Japanese and Chinese investors

Online marketplace for used automobiles and auto services Droom has closed a Rs 200 crore funding round, a transaction that comes at a time when mid-to-late stage funding in India continues to be under severe stress.

The Series B round of equity financing has been led by Singapore-based investor Beenext , founded by former Beenos founder and chief executive Teruhide Sato , and Japanese incubator and venture capital firm Digital Garage.

While Sandeep Aggarwal , chief executive of Droom, declined to confirm the valuation of the Singapore-headquartered company, post the latest round, the deal is believed to have valued Droom at between $210 million and $240 million, according to sources with direct knowledge of the transaction.

Also, entering the company's investor cap table is Hong Kong-based investment company, Integrated Asset Management, which, in 2014, led the buyout of media conglomerate Forbes Group , according to the sources mentioned above.

Other investors in the round include a group of prominent Japanese and Indonesian family offices.

"Droom has swiftly established its leadership position as the premium digital marketplace to buy and sell automobiles in India. Sandeep is an exceptional founder and his vision, grip on marketplaces and ability to drive innovations are second to none," said Teruhide Sato, managing partner, Beenext.

This follows the Rs 100 crore raised by the company from venture capital firm Lightbox and Beenos in July 2015, and which was first reported by ET. The existing backers have also participated in the latest round, which closed earlier this month.

"We will be using the proceeds to expand outside Indian borders, particularly in South-east Asia, invest further in our technology, and ramp up our engineering teams," Aggarwal, who had also founded online marketplace ShopClues , told ET.

"The single biggest problem anyone faces when buying an used vehicle in India is the lack of transparency in the transaction - in everything from pricing to the vehicle's condition. Droom is the only company in India solving for this problem. And it's one of the few companies in the world solving for it purely through technology. That's the vision Lightbox backed in the beginning and it's so exciting to see how quickly the model has been validated," said Sid Talwar , partner at Lightbox.

The transaction also comes at a time when mid and growth-stage venture capital investors have significantly tightened their purse strings, as they force their portfolio companies to cut down their burn rates, trim their flab, and renew their focus on bottom-lines.

According to data collated by VCCEdge, the first quarter of the current calendar year has seen an 80% fall in venture capital funding in value terms, compared to the year ago period. Additionally, exit valuations have plunged to 15-quarter low, and deal values have fallen by 70% from $1.7 billion in Q1CY15 to $508 million in the same period.

The company, according to Aggarwal, which claims to have 47,000 B2C sellers on board, and 55,000 listings, is targeting gross merchandise sales of $10 billion by 2020. It's annualised GMV at the end of April was at $160 million, according to the founder.

Droom claims to have grown 1500x in 16 months

Online automobile marketplace Droom founder-CEO Sandeep Aggarwal in a conference in New Delhi claimed the company has grown around 1472x between January 2015 and April 2016.

"Unlike most e-commerce companies, we're in a high gross margin business. Almost 100% of the money we make goes into our margins. While most e-commerce companies spend around 17-20% of their GMV on marketing, ours is around 5%", Aggarwal said.

Droom claims to have a burn rate of 5.5% of its GMV and a gross margin of 98.4%. The company's annualized GMV stands at $160 mn.

India's automobile market is currently the fifth largest in the world, and pegged at $125 bn. Its expected to grow up to $250 bn by 2020.

Droom Funding - ET Now - Startup Central
Droom Funding - Bloomberg TV India - Countdown
Droom Funding - Zee Business - News
India: Auto platform Droom raises Series B led by Beenext, Japan’s Digital Garage

June 1, 2016: Online automobile market place Droom has raised an undisclosed amount in its Series B round led by Singapore’s Beenext and Japanese incubator and venture capital firm Digital Garage.

The funds will be used for its planned expansion into southeast Asia later this year apart from strengthening its platform and presence in India.

"We are still operating at the floor in India. There is a huge untapped market here, so we want to strengthen our position here first," said Droom founder and CEO Sandeep Aggarwal, adding that company was looking for an overseas foray by November. It is targeting markets such as Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

"We are still operating at the floor in India. There is a huge untapped market here, so we want to strengthen our position here first," said Droom founder and CEO Sandeep Aggarwal, adding that company was looking for an overseas foray by November. It is targeting markets such as Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

Prior to this round, the company raised $16 million in three rounds including two tranches of seed funding.

Founded in April 2014, Droom is a marketplace for new and used automobiles and services. It competes with Mumbai-based CarTrade, which raised $142 million in January from Temasek and March Capital.

Existing investors, Lightbox Ventures and Beenos, also participated in the latest round along with new institutional investors from China and Japan, Droom founder Sandeep Aggarwal said, at a media conference.

While the size of the deal was not disclosed, earlier news reports had said the company was in talks to raise around Rs 200 crore ($30 million).

"The amount raised is significantly higher than the Series A that Droom raised in July 2015," Aggarwal said.

Beenext, founded by Japanese e-commerce entrepreneur and investor Teruhide Sato last year, has invested from its $60-million fund. The firm will be investing half of that amount into Indian startups.

Droom raises Series B funding from BEENEXT, Digital Garage & others

The company will use the proceeds of the Series B funding to expand its domestic operations and strengthen its technology platform.

Online automobile marketplace Droom today said it has raised an undisclosed amount from BEENEXT, Digital Garage and other existing investors to expand its presence in the South East Asian countries like Indonesia.

However, according to sources, Droom has raised nearly Rs 200 crore in this round of funding.

The company will use the proceeds of the Series B funding to expand its domestic operations and strengthen its technology platform.

"The amount raised for the new round of funding is significantly higher than Series A that we raised last year," Droom founder and CEO Sandeep Aggarwal told reporters here. He declined to comment on the funding raised and the valuation of the company.

Previously, Droom has raised seed funding of $1.5 million and $4 million in May and October 2014, respectively, followed by Series A round of Rs 100 crore in June last year.

Droom, which holds no inventory itself, facilitates sale of new and used cars and two-wheelers and also offers services through its platform. It has listings from across 142 cities in India.

The company will expand its operations to Indonesia in the third quarter of the fiscal, followed by other countries like Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines and Singapore, Aggarwal told.

"These markets put together are smaller than India but present a huge opportunity as these are underpenetrated. We expect about 15 per cent of our gross annualised revenue run rate to come from international operations by December 2017," he said.

On the Indian market, Aggarwal said that about 0.3% of the $125 billion auto market in India is online.

"India would remain the large part of our business. Currently, our gross annualised revenue run rate is about Rs 1,000 crore, which we expect will touch Rs 3,000-3,500 crore by March 2017," he said.

The company is looking at expanding its presence to 250 cities by March 2017, he added.

Droom is also looking at hiring about 90 people to strengthen its product and engineering operations as well as for managing international operations.

"By March next year, we will have about 250 people from the current 160 people. About 50 per cent of these will be for the product and engineering team, while we will have about four-member teams for each country (international operations)," he said.

PM Modi Has Put India On The World Economic Map

Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder and CEO of Droom, a marketplace to buy and sell used cars, shares his views on how the Narendra Modi government has impacted the startup ecosystem in the country in the last 2 years and what more can be done

Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder and CEO of Droom, a marketplace to buy and sell used cars, shares his views on how the Narendra Modi government has impacted the startup ecosystem in the country in the last 2 years and what more can be done. Founded in April 2014 in Silicon Valley, Droom is a startup that came to Gurgaon in 2015, and is funded by some leading global venture investors. Excerpts:

Has the Modi government in general been able to live up to the slogan of "Achhe Din"?

In my view answer is a strong yes. The Modi government has gotten back attention of investors to India, made economic agenda as the top priority for the nation and started support for Digital India and Start Up. Under Modi’s regime, India is being viewed as an economic tiger in making which is yet to achieve its potential. The performance of the $2 trillion-economy is being keenly observed by the world.

The state governments are in sync with the central government to a large level and have launched several reforms and changes that have made it easier to do business in India than ever before. The present growth rate and the momentum also make India one of the fastest growing large economy in the world.

How has Modi's Digital India programme impacted your industry in the last 2 years?

It has done well from the perspective of the government making it a priority and symbolically doing this for a Digital India. There are however, tons of things which need to be done to make capital affordable and accessible followed by removal of redundant taxes to companies listing themselves on Nasdaq.

IT-BPM industry constitutes 8.1 per cent of India’s GDP, adding about $115 billion to $120 billion to the Indian economy. The government now allows 100 per cent FDI under the automatic approval route in and various IT-BPM sub-segments including software development, testing, consultancy, research and analysis services. The government has received proposals worth $1,716 billion from various companies since the launch of the Make in India initiative.

For internet highways, which is the need of the hour for the industry, the government also launched the Digital India initiative, and committed an investment of $70.2 billion to provide telephony and fast internet.

What are some of the key IT-related initiatives that have proven to be a boon for the IT/digital payments sector in India?

Payment wallet and payment banks are supporting financial inclusions. While the PM himself has time and again proved to be extremely tech-savvy, be it his selfies or a super active Twitter account, he has also launched several technology intensive initiatives giving the IT sector in India much to cheer about. We list down some key tech initiatives of the Modi government and track their progress. In his maiden speech at the Red Fort, Narendra Modi emphasized on the importance of technology for bridging the rural-urban divide.

He harped on connectivity and creating "Broadband Highways" of 6 lakh kilometres across the country. One of Modi's pet projects, Digital India aims at providing digital infrastructure as a utility to every citizen as well as high-speed internet as a core utility in all gram panchayats. An overall sum of Rs 2,510 crore had been set aside in the budget for 2015-16 under the head "Digital India Programme and Telecommunications and Electronic Industries". Digital India is a Rs 1.13-lakh crore government initiative that seeks to transform the country into a connected economy.

How do you think Modi's Startup India initiative has benefited the startup ecosystem in the country? Do you think the provisions in the Startup Action Plan meet the requirements of the ecosystem?

Startup India is a flagship initiative of the government of India, intended to build a strong ecosystem for startups in the country. This will drive sustainable economic growth and generate large scale employment opportunities. The government, through this initiative aims to empower startups to grow through innovation and design. On the legal support, government has provided support for filing patents at free of cost and 80 per cent reduction in filing patent fee. This action would bring out the confidence among the entrepreneurs to startup with hassle free process.

The relaxation of the financial and labour norms is a great step towards making things simpler for young startups so they can focus on innovation without getting entangled in some of these norms that are more applicable to larger entities. I am extremely excited about the Atal Innovation Mission, this will help foster innovation at a grass root level among students in schools and colleges, which will in turn encourage more youngsters to enter the field of entrepreneurship and innovate and create some ground breaking products that, will be used by people around the world. India is already a leading startup hub.

Over the past few years, the startup ecosystem has witnessed exponential growth within the country. With prime minister Narendra Modi’s direct involvement in promoting startups with ‘Start-up India Stand up India’ initiative, we can expect a positive impact on the ecosystem as well as the economy.

What more should be done by the Modi government in the next few years?

The government should liberalize listing rules, relax capital gains and divide tax, make cost of capital for startup very low and make startup industry less regulatory. On the knowledge and skill enhancement side, our leaders should create MIT and Stanford standard education establishments across the country. Open access to broadband highways would facilitate trade across the country giving boost to e-commerce which is projected to cross $80 billion by 2020 and $300 billion by 2030.

With all this, we also expect last mile internet connectivity giving access to government services and development of IT skills, provision of broadband internet access to 250,000 village clusters by 2019. Digital inclusion to target job creation for approximately 1.7 crore people trained in IT, telecom and electronics, must be focussed on.

E-commerce has a lot going for it

Students from top academic institutions joined marketplace biggies to mark the fourth edition of E-commerce Day. On the occasion, hosted by ShopClues in association with Droom, industry stalwarts came together to take stock of the e-commerce space in the country, assess the challenges ahead, and figure out the best way forward.

Clearly, there's a lot of curiosity around e-commerce. Sandeep Aggarwal, founder of ShopClues and Droom, said that given the right ecosystem, e-commerce offered the chance for a young entrepreneur - one not born with a "silver spoon" in their mouth - to become a local hero, to replicate the American dream in India.

"The industry is likely to generate 2.5 lakh jobs in online retail in 2016-17, and hiring is expected to grow at 60-65 percent. I foresee our young demographic dividend to become much more confident, risk-taking and innovative," Aggarwal pointed out.

But e-commerce in India is still only a small part of the overall market, he maintained, adding the segment will not grow until these marketplaces learn to innovate and look beyond offering discounts and providing, instead, an overall "experience" for the online shopper. "Right now, competition is driven by fear, insecurity and ego, and everyone is trying to outsmart each other."

In a panel discussion, Mohit Ahuja - senior director-marketing, Droom - spoke of how these are early days for the sector in India. "Things aren't very defined at the moment," Ahuja said. Meanwhile, Nitin Kochhar - VP-categories, ShopClues - insisted that delivery of "great" customer experiences depends on merchants being kept happy, while Avinash Parhi - director-categories, ShopClues - stressed that an app-only strategy is likely to backfire.

Also in focus was marketing, and whether new-age or traditional methods work best. But there was unanimous agreement on the fact that web marketplaces need to figure out what sells and understand what the customer wants.

So the takeaways from E-commerce Day were take risks, innovate and learn on the job. The event was attended by management graduates and aspiring entrepreneurs, all eager to tap i nto exciting potential that e-commerce holds. Among the institutions present were Xavier School of Management, Symbiosis Institute of Management, Management Development Institute and IIM.

ShopClues, Droom successfully host third edition of E-commerce Day

India's first and largest managed marketplace, ShopClues and the country's leading automobile marketplace Droom joined hands to present E-commerce Day in Gurgaon.

The event was attended by management graduates and aspiring entrepreneurs which promised to be an interesting and stimulating learning platform for all those passionate about tapping into the unbridled potential of India's e-commerce landscape.

The day-long celebration of E-commerce Day was held at Epicentre and witnessed participation from prestigious academic institutions and colleges such as IIFT, MDI, SIBM, IIM, XLRI and many more.

The agenda of E-commerce Day was to bring together industry veterans like Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder ShopClues and Droom and Sanjay Sethi, Co-founder and CEO ShopClues.com, who shared their valuable insights with the invitees and helped them better chart their own paths to success in this high-growth segment.

The event also shed light on the present state of Indian E-commerce, success strategies and prospective opportunities for career growth. In addition, thought leaders in the domain shared the key challenges ahead of them and their own blueprint to tide over inclement market conditions.

Speaking on the occasion, Founder Shopclues and Droom, Sandeep Aggarwal said, "We are living in an evolution period where our nation is transitioning to become a knowledge society. There is a remarkable transformation in innovation, consumerism, productivity and logistics over the last few years. E-commerce is the catalyst for the Indian populace to embrace the digital and seek enterprising and professional opportunities in this sector."

"The industry is likely to generate 2.5 lakh jobs in online retail in FY16-17 and the hiring is expected to grow at 60-65 per cent. I foresee our young demographic dividend to become much more confident, risk taking, innovative and profound decision makers of tomorrow," added Sandeep.

Speaking on organizing E-Commerce Day, Co-Founder and Chief Business Officer ShopClues, Radhika Aggarwal said, "In India, there is much excitement and curiosity around the e-commerce segment and where it is headed. A large clutch of ambitious youngsters are eyeing this sector and are deeming it as the best place for them to realize their full potential."

"As one of India's leading businesses in this space, we have always considered it our responsibility to provide whatever assistance we can to those looking at a career in e-commerce. E-commerce Day not only plays a vital role in educating budding entrepreneurs but it also helps them devise their own strategies for success in the future," added Radhika.

"E-commerce Day is a wonderful opportunity for new and aspiring entrepreneurs to get a dekko into how this space works. By interacting at close quarters with the leading minds of this segment, young students and professionals will be able to truly assess the explosive opportunities that lie in this space and will also be equipped with the requisite knowledge to make the best of those opportunities. There's nothing like a face-to-face interaction with industry veterans for great exposure and learning," said Senior Director Human Resources at ShopClues, Shikha Taneja.

In an earlier edition of E-commerce Day, ShopClues had invited students on its premises to get a first-hand view of how India's leading managed marketplace works. It endeavored to give aspiring e-commerce professionals and entrepreneurs an authentic glimpse at the potential of the realm while also giving them a true picture of the toil one has to put in and the roadblocks one has to encounter.

With a continued dedication to helping the youth of the nation discover what it takes to build a business of value and scale, ShopClues has partnered with Droom for the third edition of this highly successful initiative.

Droom announces 'Nail Biting Deal' contest on Facebook

Droom, a pioneering online automobile transactional marketplace, has announced the launch of a unique ‘Nail Biting Deal’. The contest will allow participants a chance to win the latest bikes, scooters and cars every month through a simple auction.

All that is needed to be eligible in this first-of-its-kind, limited time offer is a Facebook account to bid on Droom’s Facebook page.

With over 46,000 B2C sellers, 56,000-plus listings and Rs 2,168 crore in listed gross merchandise value (GMV), the latest initiative by Droom is aimed at celebrating its spectacular success as one of the fastest growing consumer internet companies in the Indian automobile industry.

Speaking on the initiative, Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder & CEO, Droom, said, "Droom was established to transform the experience of buying, selling and owning an automobile, making it simpler and more convenient for the country’s consumer. By rolling out our ‘Nail Biting Deal’, we are thanking our users for their support and giving them an opportunity to make the most of our jaw-dropping deals. We are confident that the initiative will provide a highly engaging channel for aspiring owners to fulfil their vehicular requirements."

To participate in this month’s event, one will have to log onto Facebook and visit Droom’s page on May 13 between 11 AM and 6 PM. The auction will start at Rs. 99, while users can use the ‘Bid Now’ call-to-action button to increase the last price by Rs.1.

A minimum of 25 bids will be required to qualify for winning the auction, with the highest bidder taking home a brand new Honda Activa. Droom will announce the winner through its Facebook page shortly after the conclusion of the event.

Droom launches 'Services & Repairs' category

Droom, India’s pioneering online automobile transactional marketplace, has announced the launch of its ‘Services & Repairs’ category. The move is meant to facilitate convenient, cost-effective and accessible vehicle servicing to customers seeking quick and reliable automobile repairs.

Droom’s ‘Services & Repairs’ category will have three product types for consumers to choose from – Express Service & Maintenance, Standard Service and Extensive Service.

While the Express Service will have features like Extensive Vehicle Inspection, Wheel Balancing, Wash & Polish, Minor Repairs and Battery Water (top-up), Standard and Extensive services include in-depth vehicle servicing that involves Consumable replacement, Engine Oil Filter replacement, Engine Oil replacement and Brake Fluid replacement. The prices range from Rs350 to Rs18,000 for different services, and come inclusive of labour charges.

"Industry reports predict that nearly 80% people don’t get their vehicles serviced from branded service centres once the free service expires due to higher costs, time crunches and a dearth of quality servicing facilities," says Sandeep Aggarwal, founder and CEO, Droom. "The launch of our ‘Services & Repair’ category will enable better savings on costs without compromising on the quality of service for our users. We are initially rolling it out in metropolitan cities, with a view of expanding the service in more cities in due time."

Droom has partnered with leading vehicle servicing vendors such as Cartisan, Pitstop, Carpathy and Garagely to enable its latest category, and is targeting service fulfilment within 2-4 hours once a customer makes an online booking.

The category, which is currently live in Mumbai, Delhi-NCR and Bangalore, will allow Droom users to improve the performance and longevity of their vehicles and reap the benefits of enhanced fuel efficiency and reduced maintenance costs.

Online auto marketplace Droom adds services and repairs category

Online automobile transactional marketplace Droom has announced the launch of its 'Services & Repairs' category. The latest move is meant to facilitate more convenient, cost-effective and accessible vehicle servicing to customers seeking for quick and reliable automobile repairs.

Droom's 'Services & Repairs' category will have three product types for consumers to choose from - express service & maintenance, standard service and extensive service.

While the express service will have features like extensive vehicle inspection, wheel balancing, wash & polish, minor repairs and battery water (top-up), standard and extensive services include in-depth vehicle servicing that involves consumable replacement, engine oil filter replacement, engine oil replacement and brake fluid replacement. The prices range from Rs 350 to Rs 18,000 for different services and come inclusive of labour charges.

Speaking on the announcement, Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder and CEO, Droom, said, "Industry reports predict that nearly 80% people don't get their vehicles serviced from branded service centres once the free service expires due to higher costs, time crunches and a dearth of quality servicing facilities. The launch of our 'Services & Repair' category will enable better savings on costs without compromising on the quality of service for our users. We are initially rolling it out in metropolitan cities, with a view of expanding the service in more cities in due time."

Droom has partnered with leading vehicle servicing vendors such as Cartisan, Pitstop, Carpathy and Garagely to enable its latest category, and is targeting service fulfilment within 2-4 hours once a customer makes an online booking. The category, which is currently live in the cities of Mumbai, Delhi-NCR and Bangalore, will allow Droom users to improve the performance and longevity of their vehicles and reap the benefits of enhanced fuel efficiency and reduced maintenance costs.

Founded in April 2014 in Silicon Valley, Droom is India's first online marketplace to buy and sell new and used automobiles and automobile services. Droom has taken a completely innovative and disruptive approach to building trust and pricing advantages for buyers.

Auto online marketplace Droom to raise ₹ 200 cr

Two aircrafts are available for sale on online automobile marketplace Droom: Legacy 600 for ₹ 64.52 crore and Hawker 900 XP for ₹ 45.99 crore. At the other end of the spectrum, it also markets two-wheelers: the cheapest, a Hercules Sparx 24-inches bicycle, costs ₹ 3,900.

File Photo of Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder-CEO of Droom and ShopClues.

With this widening business horizon, end-to-end facilitator Droom is all set to raise another up to ₹ 200 crore to fund its expansion plans in six South-East Asian countries and Europe in the next two years.

"We are expanding our marketplace to Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippinesthis year, followed by Europe in 2017," Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder-CEO of Droom and ShopClues, told BusinessLine.

Among its various services on offer, Droom charges 1.5% of the price on a successful sale of a car, 2% of the sale price of a two-wheeler and 12% on providing various automobile services like insurance, warranty etc.

From a revenue of nearly ₹ 900 crore from 3,400 transaction in 2015-16, Droom is targeting ₹ 3,000 crore worth of gross revenues by March 2017 and ₹ 15,000 crore by the end of 2018. "With a 12% annual growth,India’s automobile sector is expected to expand from USD 125 billion now to USD 250 billion by 2020. Online transaction in this sector is also expected to increase from 0.5% now to 28% by 2020. We are targeting 50-60% of this business, worth about USD 300 million."

Founded in April 2014 in Silicon Valley, technology-driven Droom came to Gurgaon in India in 2015, funded by some leading global venture investors, raising ₹ 230 crore so far. In the last 16 months, it has roped in 41,000 automobile dealers with 1.5 lakh listing of vehicles, having a total value of ₹ 3,500 crore. This mobile marketplace, having no inventory, facilitates buying and selling of new and used automobiles, including two-wheelers, on this one-stop-shop.

Aggarwal said Droom was currently present across 135 cities in India and had the largest geographical footprint in any hyper-local category. "We have about three million visitors per month on our website, and our app has been downloaded by 2.5 million people. We not only facilitate buying of selling, including of vintage cars, we also provide for inspection, car care and detailing, fun rides and rentals, road side assistance, service and repairs, warranty-the whole gamut under one roof for a 21st century experience."

Prior to Droom, a "completely disruptive business", Aggarwal had founded ShopClues.com in his Californiahouse in 2010, and moved to India to launch it as the country’s first marketplace to empower 15 million SMEss and unstructured categories, at a time when other e-commerce companies ran inventory-led models. In 3 years ShopClues rose from being the 35th entrant into Indian e-commerce space to become the 4th largest such company with 50 million monthly visitors. It currently has over 65 million visitors a month and USD 500 million in annual gross merchandise volume (GMV).

Droom, a Singapore-holding company with offices in Silicon Valley, USA and Gurgaon, has grown 125 times since its commercial launch. "Our business model is designed to expand across categories, products, strategic partnerships as well as geographies to increase its reach and offering to consumers", said Aggarwal.

Droom Conduct India’s Biggest Bike Mela

Scheduled to run from 26-27 April, the Droom Bike Mela holds the lure of fabulous discounts ranging from Rs 4,500 to as high as Rs 20,000 for buyers purchasing on Droom’s web and mobile platforms

Droom, one of India’s pioneering online automobile transaction platform, is hosting India’s Biggest Bike Mela, offering fabulous deals and discounts to buyers on their web and app platforms. This Mela (fair) is in line with the company’s stated intent of making motorcycle ownership more viable to consumers. During the Mela, which is scheduled to be held over 26 and 27 April, hot deals and discounts are going to be on offer across a range of motorcycle categories, from humble commuters to exotic superbikes.

"Today, Droom has established itself as the transactional platform of choice for both buyers and sellers owing to its emphasis on transparency, convenience and value-addition. With India’s Biggest Bike Mela, we are offering the most popular bike make from verified sellers on our platform at very good discounts, making bike ownership affordable and pocket-friendly for our consumers. We are confident that the campaign will be a big hit with the consumers, who will welcome the diversity of having the widest collection of bikes on sale for heavy discounts," said Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder and CEO, Droom.

Through the two-day Mela sports bikes such as Bajaj Pulsar, Yamaha R15, Yamaha FZ, Yamaha Fazer, CBZ xtreme and TVS Apache will be available at a discount of Rs 4,500 for a minimum purchase price of Rs 35,000, while Royal Enfield models such as Classic, Standard and Thunderbird can be bought at a slashed price of Rs 12,000 for a minimum price of Rs 1 lakh. A flat discount of Rs 3,500 can be availed for a minimum price of Rs 28,000 for Standard Commuter Bikes such as Hero Passion, Bajaj Discover, Hero Splendor, and Honda CB Shine. Consumers purchasing superbikes from Kawasaki, Yamaha, Hayabusa and Ninja will benefit from a discount of Rs 20,000 for a purchase of Rs 2 lakh. Buyers can freeze their deals by paying a fully refundable token amount on Droom before completing the transaction directly with the vendor after verifying the vehicle.

Disruptive Droom

Sandeep Aggrawal, CEO & Founder, Droom and ShopClues.com

Sandeep Aggarwal is an angel investor, serial entrepreneur, philanthropist and Internet visionary. In April 2014, Sandeep started Droom, India’s first marketplace to buy and sell used and new automobiles. Droom is a completely disruptive business that is creating unpanelled trust and pricing advantage for buyers. Prior to Droom, Sandeep founded ShopClues.com, India’s first and largest managed marketplace in his house in California in late 2010 and moved to India to launch it as to empower 15 million SME sellers and unstructured categories e.g. fashion, home/kitchen etc. online. Sandeep founded, ShopClues in an era when all the other E-Commerce companies in India were inventory-led models.With 17 years of global experience in business operations, strategy and investment, focusing on Internet and technology and prior to founding Droom and ShopClues, Sandeep was among the most renowned Internet analysts on Wall Street based out of Silicon Valley, providing research coverage on Google, Yahoo!, eBay, Amazon, Netflix, Priceline, Microsoft, MakeyMyTrip etc. Prior to being an analyst Sandeep worked in strategy roles with senior leadership team at Microsoft in Seattle and Schwab.com in San Francisco. Sandeep has an MBA from Washington University in St. Louise, USA. Sandeep is chartered member of TiE Silicon Valley and holds one US patent. In conversation with Dominic Rebello he reflects on the way forward for businesses such as his in India.

What drives you?

I look for attributes with high energy, passion and long-term vision while investing in new ventures. Founders need to be strongly motivated by a cause, as opposed to those driven by quick money, have the vision to identify an addressable opportunity and the clarity of purpose for optimum thematic leverage. I believe technology plays an extremely pivotal role in creating winning ventures, and supports founders who believe in frugality and economic effort as a means to achieve success.

How big is the potential for a business like yours? Any statistics to compare with international standards?

We are the biggest used car transaction platform in India and we want to continue the dominance. Droom, the used car marketplace, is planning to expand to 100 cities within the next month. The company has been ahead of schedule in revenue generation, its founder claimed, adding it was a natural progression. The company recorded revenue of Rs 36 crore in December 2015, with Rs 32 crore coming from the National Capital Region alone.

How do you plan to scale up; raise funds through seed or venture capital or simply grow the old fashioned way through rising turnovers?

Droom has raised $16 million (INR 100 crore) funding in Series A led by Lightbox. The company will use funds to add 20 automobile and 12 service categories hosting over 50,000 sellers and 200k listings in the next 18-24 months. Droom also plans to expand into South East Asia by early 2016. The first round of funding for Droom was led by BEENOS. The recent investment from Lightboxand participation by all of our existing major investors allows us to aggregate the automobile industry at a scale which has not been achieved so far by anyone.

Who would primarily be your consumer audience?

Anyone who is willing to buy or sell an automobile and looking for automobile services is our consumer audience. Basically, we have C2B (consumer to business) marketplace format, called QuickSell, which further enables consumers to sell their used vehicles to auto dealers with a quick turnaround of the transaction. The sellers can upload a quick listing of their vehicles, receive offers from interesting buyers and accept the most feasible option to sell it online. Our audience falls in every category which is B2C, C2B, C2C and several automobile dealers.

Where do you see Droom five years down the road?

We feel droom has built and will continue to build a truly 21st century experience to buy and sell used automobiles online in India. We have opportunity to capture 50%+ of the total automobile market online in India. We are working very hard and believe that by 2020, Droom will be a global name and will be operating in 3 to 4 continents and in 15-20 countries.

Steering the Auto Marketplace towards a Scintillating Future: An Outlook

Based-out of Gurgaon, Droom is India's most trusted online marketplace to buy and sell new and used automobiles and also for automobile services. Founded in 2014, this rapidly growing mobile-first entity is the only Indian online company enabling end-to-end transaction with cutting-edge tools transparency and facilities such as auction and pricing engine as its unique attributes.

Driven by the humongous growth of mobile-only Internet users, mobile wallet is no longer a luxury, but a necessity for all monetary transactions, because of its varied offers and convenience. Not only mobility, but the other technological breakthroughs which include cloud computing, Big Data and open source technologies are now the enabling centerpieces of a successful business. The rapid growth has also compelled the industries to outrun others and automobile domain is no different. While the Indian automobile realm has been hovering around the global market as the third largest, the growth is also fraught with several challenges in it fold.

However enticing a technology be, its complexity can often serve as a hindrance. They have to be robust, yet scalable and easy-to-use. In addition, India - bound by the old-fangled thinking and the increasing scams - is relatively a low-trust market, which makes the task of establishing a business tougher. Especially in e-Commerce domains like used and new car markets, which strives to eliminate the middlemen and craft a paramount transactional experience, people tend to demur in buying a vehicle from an unfamiliar individual, despite e-Commerce's capability in bestowing a better experience with its return and refund policies.

Further, the risk is accompanied by the meager policies, unlike in U.S., where they have Lemon Law to compensate for the defective consumer goods, Kelly Blue Book for the best pricing, a separate vendor for inspecting vehicle history and tighter law enforcement that binds all the aforementioned criticalities together, while India is set a mile back in pursuing those.Furthermore, India needs one lakh trained technicians who can perform independent inspection chains. According to me, not just the scrutiny, but there should be an integration of the disparate systems like police, insurance, service logs and registration records, that would serve as a window into the complete history of the vehicles, which in turn helps the buyers to alleviate the risks of falling prey to a web of deceit.

Droom to raise Rs 100-200 cr in 6 months

Droom, the online marketplace for used automobiles, is expected to raise between Rs 100-200 crore in the next six months, Sandeep Aggarwal, CEO told FE...

Droom, the online marketplace for used automobiles, is expected to raise between Rs 100-200 crore in the next six months, Sandeep Aggarwal, CEO told FE. In July, the company raised Rs 100 crore from Lightbox Ventures and Beenos, a Japanese internet investment firm. Other players in the space include Carwale, Cardekho, and CarTrade, GetCarXpert, and Carzonrent.

In FY15, the company reported revenues of Rs 93 lakh but higher expenses of Rs 3.1 crore, resulted in a loss of Rs 2.2 crore. Aggarwal, who also founded Shopcues, said Droom would register a gross merchandise value( GMV) of Rs 3,000 crore by March 2017 from Rs 800 crore at the end of March 2016.

The online platform launched its rental services in August and earns a commission of 10%; it has tied up with about 15 rental services and does not hold any inventory of its own. Droom does not charge a listing fee from sellers but earns a premium for its specialised services under the pro seller premium package.

"We have 300 pro sellers listed on our platform and they pay us R15,000 annually as pro seller premium," said Aggarwal explaining the seller can feature a logo, description, prescribed dealership with a brand or rating and a review.

Aggarwal said the sale of services such as insurance and maintenance fetch the highest commissions of 12% while it earns 1.5% on sale of cars and 2% on two-wheelers.

In February, the company clocked 2,300 transactions across services. "We did roughly R56 crore of gross revenues on our platform or R650 crore annualised revenues," he added.

In March, the online platform launched its Eco car inspection app to promote verification and certified valuation of the automobile by a team of experts. The company has tied-up with Carnation Auto to leverage technology and get car technicians on board. These technicians can earn up R30,000 per month by becoming a part of Droom’s Eco app.

With its foray in services, the company plans to launch Droom History in July, an online automobile repository that will solve the problem of trust and transparency in automobile purchase, said Aggarwal adding it will be a paid product.

Don’t buy the words, buy the car

Buyers can now use technology to get correct and complete information while buying a second hand car

Don’t buy the words of a seller. I learnt this lesson when I was looking to buy a used car. The details I got like scratch-less, mint condition, and new tyres were a complete mismatch from the reality. And that’s understandable. If not, then at least usual.

Sandeep Agarwal of Droom and Jagdish Khattar of Carnation Auto.

After all, a seller has to sell. In fact, in our country such is the norm that a seller can do everything to conceal defects or damages. So, it is for buyers to remain on alert.

But, all that might be a thing of past soon. Droom, an online marketplace for buying and selling of used automobiles, has joined hands with Carnation Auto, founded by Jagdish Khattar, to come up with an ECO app. And, the app promises to put behind all the usual worries related to buying of a used automobile.

In a chat with Sandeep Agarwal, CEO and Founder, Droom, I asked how it shall work. And how shall it benefit a buyer. "Well, it is a mobile-based auto inspection solution. And, it would overcome the problem of information asymmetry. Currently, in India buying a used automobile is full of pain points, hassles and pitfalls. ECO app will offer transparency and trust with its unbiased inspection of the vehicle," stated Agrawal, who claims that his organisation’s strength lies in data science and data management.

So, the app will inspect any vehicle on the preset 121 points. And, it will thus give you a full round-up of the automobile.

In addition, there will be a full circle trust score and an orange book value that shall enable you to take a better decision for your buy.It is to give you a score on a scale of 1 to 10 for the vehicle and then it proposes a book value for the vehicle you are looking to buy. If the seller quotes a price somewhat close to the figure on orange book value then you are assured of not getting cheated.

Here Agarwal mentions that "unfortunately in India we don’t have things like Lemon law or Car Fax which in the United States ensure that the seller stays honest in providing correct information about the vehicle to a potential buyer.

So, we have designed this app which will inspect the vehicle on so many counts that it shall tell you in detail, practically everything that needs to be known."

All you need to do as a buyer is book an inspection of the vehicle you are looking to buy through the app. Once that is done a Droom certified auto expert will do the job for you by inspecting the vehicle thoroughly. A comprehensive report would be provided. As of now, Droom and Carnation Auto together offer the services of this ECO app in six cities in India with a promise to expand the network to other cities soon.

Droom Says ‘Save Our Vehicles’ on April Fool’s Day

Vehicle abuse, today, is an ugly truth that haunts our society. Every day we see vehicles crashing and burning in the most ridiculous fashion in movies, while in real life, vehicle owners are often seen not paying the required attention to the maintenance of their prized possessions. It is to counter these instances of vehicular abuse that Droom, India's most trusted motorplace, has launched Save Our Vehicles (SOV), a non-profit Indian vehicle rights organisation based in Gurgaon. The brand has released this campaign for April Fool's Day.


Droom is the first and only group in the world to champion the cause of vehicle rights and equal opportunity for vehicles. Through this initiative, the brand will deliver a strong message to educate policymakers and the public about this highly sensitive issue and raise awareness and understanding about the rights of all vehicles. The government is also being petitioned to set up a commission to set guidelines for, and to oversee, use of vehicles by the entertainment industry.

Speaking on the initiative, Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder & CEO, Droom, said, "All vehicles are created equal and must be treated so. Vehicles have been our best friends. They are always there for us, whether it is taking you to your first date, keeping the secret of your first kiss, winning those bike races within your neighbourhood or creating memories with friends. It is high time we realise the importance of treating all vehicles with respect. With people talking and discussing these issues, there is a greater chance that governments, movie directors, vehicle owners and other decision-makers will listen."

To support the movement, Droom has integrated an Emergency S.O.V. button in the Droom mobile app, which can be used by vigilant citizens across India to report any vehicle abuse they come across along with images & videos of the act. Once the concern is raised, Save Our Vehicles taskforce members will reach the spot using geo-location to ensure justice for the vehicles in question. The taskforce can also be reached at 024-61024010 or #SaveOurVehicles #Droom. So if you are a conscientious car owner or even just a concerned enthusiast, join the movement and add your voice with a growing community of car lovers.

Founded in April 2014 in Silicon Valley, Droom is an online marketplace to buy and sell new and used automobiles and automobile services. Droom has taken a completely innovative and disruptive approach to building trust and pricing advantages for buyers.

Droom Launches ECO, A Mobile-Based Auto Inspection Solution In Partnership With Carnation Auto

Droom, perhaps the only online automobile transactional marketplace standing now to compete against CarDekho, has announced the launch of a new service called ECO – a mobile-based auto inspection solution. It has been launched in partnership with Carnation Auto.

Droom’s partnership with Carnation Auto will allow the users of ECO mobile app to access Carnation’s extensive network of workshops and skilled technicians.

The app is aimed at improving the transparency as well as the trust factor associated with buying and selling used automobiles. With this new app, the company is now looking to disrupt the growing market of used automobiles in India.

The mobile application – ECO, will enable sellers to schedule comprehensive automobile inspections from highly trained and certified professionals through its platform.

The professionals performs an auto inspection using Droom’s proprietary methodology and covers an exhaustive list of all the important points in a vehicle to generate a comprehensive auto inspection report.

Then, the digital report will be made available to the buyers while viewing the vehicle, empowering them with the knowledge to make the most informed decisions.

Sandeep Agarwal, CEO and Founder, Droom, says that Eco is India’s most scientific, comprehensive objective and unbiased automobile inspection and verification service. He further said:

Unlike US, Western Europe and Japan, India is low trust market in general and buyers for used automobiles suffer from information asymmetry and moral hazard. In India, buying a used automobile is full of pain points, hassles and pitfall. With Eco launch, Droom has deepened its commitment to increase trust and transparency for used automobile transactions in India. We are very excited to have Carnation as our partner for Eco as it is very complementary with Carnation experts around the nation now using the most scientific and powerful tool to protect buyers’ interest.

Jagdish Khattar, Managing Director, Carnation Auto, said,

The used car sales continue to grow exponentially in India. The ECO app has the potential to reduce information asymmetry in pre – owned cars transactions. Carnation being the leader in the Car Inspection space, is extremely excited about partnering with Droom to power ECO for its launch across India. Together we will take selling and buying of used cars to the next level. This concept will leverage Technology to empower the automobile technicians and certification engineers- the real heroes of Make In India.

Droom was founded in April 2014 by Sandeep Agarwal. It claims to be India’s first online marketplace to buy and sell new and used automobiles and automobile services. Last year, the company had raised $15.7 million in a funding round from Lightbox Ventures and Japanese internet firm Beenos. However, Droom continues to face a stiff challenge from CarDekho, which post its Zigwheels acquisition, virtually became the leader in this segment.

Carnation Auto, founded by Mr. Jagdish Khattar, is India’s largest independent aftermarket automobile sales and service network. It offers state-of-art infrastructure for car servicing and other car related solutions like insurance, accessories, Car Inspection and pre owned certified cars.

Droom-Carnation Auto rolls out mobile-based auto inspection solution ECO

The app is meant to improve the transparency as well as the trust factor associated with buying and selling used automobiles.

Online marketplace for used and new automobiles Droom, in association with Carnation Auto, has launched ECO, its mobile-based auto inspection solution. The app is meant to improve the transparency as well as the trust factor associated with buying and selling used automobiles.

The ECO app will enable sellers to schedule comprehensive automobile inspections from highly trained and certified professionals - called Ninjas - through its platform. The ECO Ninja then performs an auto inspection using Droom's proprietary methodology and covers an exhaustive list of all the important points in a vehicle to generate a comprehensive auto inspection report.

This digital report will be made available to the buyers while viewing the vehicle. Droom's partnership with Carnation will also allow ECO users access to Carnation's extensive network of workshops and skilled technicians.

Speaking on the launch, Sandeep Agarwal, CEO and Founder, Droom, said, "Unlike US, Western Europe and Japan, India is low trust market in general and buyers for used automobiles suffer from information asymmetry and moral hazard. With Eco launch, Droom has deepened its commitment to increase trust and transparency for used automobile transactions in India."

In his acknowledgement to the ECO initiative and Carnation's partnership with Droom, Jagdish Khattar, Managing Director, Carnation Auto present at the launch said, "The used car sales continue to grow exponentially in India. The ECO app has the potential to reduce information asymmetry in pre - owned cars transactions. This concept will leverage Technology to empower the automobile technicians and certification engineers- the real heroes of Make In India."

Droom eyes Rs 20 cr revenue from auto inspection biz

Online automobile marketplace Droom today said it aims to garner annualised revenues of Rs 15-20 crore from its new auto inspection app, ECO.

The company, which has launched the app in association with multi-brand car service chain Carnation, will offer inspections, verification, certification and valuation for cars and two-wheelers.

"The ECO app will enable sellers to schedule comprehensive automobile inspections from certified professionals, which is made available to interested buyers and helping them make informed choice," Droom Founder and CEO Sandeep Aggarwal told PTI.

Similarly, buyers can also procure the service to be assured of their purchases, he added.

The service will be available for Rs 200 (two-wheeler) and Rs 500 (cars).

"In a years time, we expect that the platform will facilitate 25,000-35,000 inspections a month... We hope to see an annualised revenue of Rs 15-20 crore by March next year," he said.

The company has launched the service in six cities including Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Pune.

"By June, we will cover 36-38 cities and towns where Carnation has a presence and by December, we should be there in 50 cities," he said.

Aggarwal said the company expects that 20-25 per cent of the 1.5 lakh listings on its platform will be inspected.

Asked about the opportunity, Carnation Auto Managing Director Jagdish Khattar said the used car sales in India continues to grow exponentially.

"The ECO app has the potential to reduce information asymmetry in pre-owned vehicle transactions. With ECO, we will take selling and buying used cars to the next level," the former Maruti Suzuki India Chief said.

Carnation already works with Quikr and has facilitated one lakh inspections in the last 15-16 months, he added. PTI SR ABI

Online car sales platform Droom launches physical car inspection app

To boost buyer's confidence and bring transparency in used car buying, online automobile transactional platform Droom launched mobile-based auto inspection solutions with Jagdish Khattar-owned Carnation Auto on Tuesday.

(L_R) Sandeep Agarwal, CEO and Founder, Droom and Jagdish Khattar, Managing Director, Carnation Auto with Eco Ninja at Eco App Launch.

The mobile-based auto inspection solution, ECO, will lead to car inspection app for inspections, verification, certification and valuation at a click by credited auto experts.

Droom's partnership with Carnation will also allow ECO users access to Carnation's extensive network of workshops and skilled technicians.

Speaking on the launch, Jagdish Khattar, Managing Director, Carnation Auto said, "Used car sales continue to grow exponentially in India. The ECO app has the potential to reduce information asymmetry in pre-owned car transactions. Carnation being the leader in the car inspection space, will power all the Droom products across India. Together we will take selling and buying of used cars to the next level."

Through the move, automobile technicians can leverage the ECO app to increase their consumer outreach and visibility. Equipped with a smart device, technical skills and the mobility to travel from one place to another, technicians can become ECO certified Ninjas through the tutorials on the app and make earnings of up to Rs 30,000 per month.

Sandeep Agarwal, CEO and Founder, Droom, said, "Unlike US, Western Europe and Japan, India is a low-trust market in general and buyers for used automobiles suffer from information asymmetry and moral hazard. In India, buying a used vehicle was quite painful and loaded with hassles. It's now our commitment to increase trust and transparency for used automobile transactions in India with a comprehensive and scientific approach in inspection and verification service."

Droom is a leading consumer internet company in India with over 41,000 sellers and more than 125,000 listings. The company has over a million downloads for its mobile apps.

Young leaders at startups like Treebo Hotels and Droom bond with employees beyond workplace

Friday evenings take on a whole new meaning at the office of Bengaluru-based Treebo Hotels.

Now, young and dynamic leaders at these newage companies thrive on building common interests and forging personal connections with coworkers.

More than the excitement over the upcoming weekend, it's the prospect of playing poker with cofounder Sidharth Gupta that never fails to create a buzz.

"There are never any formal invitations made for our Friday night poker games, we make spontaneous plans. Often it's my house that's the venue, but we all take turns hosting," said Gupta. "It's a casual and fun way to spend an evening. We simply set up two tables and play some quality poker. I would do the same with my college friends."

For fellow cofounder Rahul Chaudhary, the football ground is the venue of choice, and some Sunday mornings he can be seen heading to a nearby play arena with employees. Clearly, Gupta and Chaudhary have a different leadership style — one that draws on bonding with employees beyond the confines of the workplace. And they're not alone in doing so.

Geetansh Bamania, CEO at Rentomojo, takes part in regular jam sessions with musically-inclined teammembers. "There are about 15 of us in the music club, which I've found is a great platform to just let loose and play some quality music," he said. A self-confessed bibliophile, he also attends regular book club meetings with about 25-30 others.

Geetansh Bamania, CEO at Rentomojo, takes part in regular jam sessions with musically-inclined teammembers. "There are about 15 of us in the music club, which I've found is a great platform to just let loose and play some quality music," he said. A self-confessed bibliophile, he also attends regular book club meetings with about 25-30 others.

Geetansh Bamania, CEO at Rentomojo, takes part in regular jam sessions with musically-inclined teammembers. "There are about 15 of us in the music club, which I've found is a great platform to just let loose and play some quality music," he said. A self-confessed bibliophile, he also attends regular book club meetings with about 25-30 others.

Startups have mushroomed around the country and brought with them a spirit of innovation, but they've also heralded a change in leadership styles. The image of the intimidating boss keeping a strictly professional relationship with employees is now passe. Now, young and dynamic leaders at these newage companies thrive on building common interests and forging personal connections with coworkers.

"It's a new age, one that is characterised by leaders wanting to be friends with employees and keeping in touch on issues not related to work. For startups with small to moderate staff strength, it's definitely possible for founders and/or CEOs to make personal associations," said Anish Sarkar, country leader, Mercer India.

At online house rental startup Grabhouse, employees participate in karaoke nights with CMO Pankhuri Shrivastava, and table tennis games with cofounder Prateek Shukla. At Delhi-based fintech startup IndiaLends, cofounders Gaurav Chopra and Mayank Kachhwaha play chess, darts, and sometimes even Fifa with team-members. In fact, a new hire in the branding and marketing team has induced Chopra to start working out with him, and a few times a week, the two of them head to the gym together.

At talent assessment and analytics startup Jombay, employees indulge in online shopping sessions with cofounder Mohit Gundecha.

"Once a week, a bunch of us sit together with our laptops, look at online shopping sites, check out deals, and make purchases. We decide our themes in advance, one week we might be buying books, the next week's session could be dedicated to clothes — it's a fun experience that really creates better bonding," said Gundecha.

Food is also a big part of the culture at Jombay, with outings to neighbouring restaurants a regular part of the agenda. "All of us love exploring new cuisines, and there aren't too many restaurants in Pune which we haven't been to," Gundecha said.

With startup leaders becoming more approachable to employees and going all out to disrupt authority structures, there is always a risk that some employees may make the mistake of thinking they deserve special treatment. "It's important for young leaders to be friendly and share personal connections with employees, but a balance needs to be struck for smooth functioning of the organisation," said Mercer's Anish Sarkar.

Interestingly, though, not one of these young leaders has found, in the course of their personal interactions, that employees try to get over-friendly or cross the line between friendly and awkward. "Everyone is mature enough to realise that work needs to get done no matter what, and being friendly with the boss won't get one out of delivering on KRAs," said Grabhouse's Shrivastava.

"Employees understand without having to be told that there are boundaries between fun and work. It gets lonely at the top, and having friends at the workplace alleviates that to a very large extent," said Gundecha

IBW 2016 : Market size of High-end and Superbikes to see an upward trend

In terms of industry trends, the fascination and desire to own super bikes continue to be on the rise. DSK Barnelli, Harley Davidson, Ducati and Triumph seems to be gaining lots of traction in India : Rishab Malik.

Droom India’s first online marketplace to buy and sell new and used automobiles and automobile services has had a brilliant Goa experience to take home. Droom saw an eager engagement of nearly 4000 people thronging at its state of the art exhibit ‘Droom Moto Mart’. The Droom Moto Mart, was conceptualised as a platform for Indian Bike Week guests to showcase and sell their bikes under a completely non-commissionable deal.

Participation in the Indian Bike Week proved to be significant for the company as the brand calculated over 50 realtime Customer to Customer (C2C) listings for pre-owned super bikes. There were over five hundred enquiries on Droom’s innovative Orange Book Value (OBV). OBV are pricing algorithms that tell you the value of the vehicle based on make, model, year, and trend pricing. The crowds took part in the Full Circle Trust Score game designed around Droom’s credibility and trust score. Droom ran a contest, Bike Bingo, which will grant guests a chance to win Akaalya, which is an IBW custom Bullet bike.

Highlighting the trends seen at the India Bike Week 2016, Goa, Rishab Malik, Co-founder and VP of Business Development, Droom, opined, "In terms of industry trends, the fascination and desire to own super bikes continue to be on the rise. DSK Barnelli, Harley Davidson, Ducati and Triumph seems to be gaining lots of traction in India. The event saw much larger footfall and more active participation from OEMs vs last year, in our view. It is also my understanding that the desire to own a superbike or a high end bike is growing with the paying capacity of the demographic dividend of India. We can easily foresee the markest size growth for this segment in this Financial Year."

Currently in its fourth year, The Indian Bike Week was attended by bike enthusiasts from across India, and hosted several prominent brands in the Indian biking community.

Do not limit yourself, give your best: Sandeep Aggarwal, Droom

What I did in the first 100 days at work
AFTER MY MBA at Washington University in St. Louis, I was hired by Charles Schwab at San Francisco as part of their leadership programme called Management Associate Programme. I was told to meet lots of leaders at the company, absorb things under different projects and just build core strengths.

"I was hired by Charles Schwab at San Francisco as part of their leadership programme called Management Associate Programme."

The best leadership lesson that I learnt MY BOSS SAW me taking a lot of initiatives. One day, he told me something which I think changed my life forever and it was, "Your role is what you carve out, so do not limit yourself and give your best."

The best friend I made on the job I ENDED UP making lots of new friends at work and I still remain in touch with them. Some of my managers became my best friends and I still remain in touch with many of them even after nearly 15 years. At Charles Schwab, I made friends from all the five continents and people hailing from nearly 20 different countries. eradha D My biggest innovation I BUILT A relative risk model for 6,000 banks that resulted in a rating system so that the company could understand the relative risk while investing in various banks' money market securities.

The worst mistake I made I WAS VERY naive and fresh out of business school and made tons of mistakes. But I learnt from each mistake and made sure that I did not make the same mistake again.

How I had fun at work WE DID LOTS of fun activities such as team lunches, wine tasting trips, participated in some charitable events such as Habitat for Humanity, and team building exercises at Treasure Island at San Francisco.

How I managed my work-life balance WHEN I STARTED my first job in San Francisco, I was married with no chil dren. My wife and I would go and try out new cuisines and new bars every weekend. We are very social, so we either invited friends at our place for dinner drinks or ended up being invited ourselves. We also went out for hiking, surfing, wine tasting, water sports and some overnight trips to LA, Lake Tahoe, Napa Valley, San Diego and Yosemite.

Droom targets 100 cities for expansion

The company said it is in talks to raise funding and should be able to announce something soon.

Droom, the used car marketplace, is planning to expand to 100 cities within the next month. The company has been ahead of schedule in revenue generation, its founder claimed, adding it was a natural progression.

"We are the biggest used car transaction platform in India and we want to continue the dominance," said Sandeep Aggarwal, founder and CEO, Droom.

The company recorded revenue of Rs 36 crore in December 2015, with Rs 32 crore coming from the National Capital Region alone. "If we can generate so much interest in Delhi among the immense competition in the city, we can get some more in other parts of the city. This was the thinking when we decided to plan our expansion," Aggarwal said. The company takes a commission of about two-five per cent per transaction.

"We expect to hit Rs 250 crore GMV (gross merchandise volume) by the end of this financial year and I think we are on track," said Aggarwal.

Despite the fact that hyper-local companies across the country are shrinking back to the metros, Aggarwal remains bullish that Droom will not stumble the way others have. "We don’t have any personnel in most of these centres. To minimise these costs, we invested in what we call Droom University," he said.

It is a concept similar to what Amazon does to help sellers list their products on its platform. "We have no feet on the ground and use channel partners to spread the word," he said. One of the reasons why companies such as Droom gain traction is verified listings. "We offer verified listings as a service. And there we need a mechanic to inspect the cars, which would mean allocating a resource. But we have made strategic partnerships with AXA and Carnation and they have a presence in 4,300 cities. Now, their mechanic will verify the listing for us," he said. Aggarwal also said that there was a one-time cost when going to new cities — when a seven-member team "lays the groundwork".

The company allocates 85 per cent of its budget to technology and marketing, and this expansion will not weigh too heavy on the company’s books. Aggarwal claims that Droom’s costs have increased just five per cent since it started, while the revenue earned rose from Rs 6 lakh in January last year to Rs 42 crore this year.

Droom, he said, was looking to make acquisitions to increase its foothold in the market. "We will make an acquisition in the first quarter of this year," he said. The company said it was in talks to raise funding and should be able to announce something soon.

"The market is bright for used cars. In China, eight marketplaces have cropped up in the past year and have raised $1.8 billion combined," he said. The top 10 cities of India constitute almost 75 per cent of the used car sales.

Last week, used car marketplace Truebil raised $5 million from Kalaari Capital, Inventus and others. The company, started by former Housing.com employees, had raised $500,000 last year. This segment could well be the next big thing in India.

Now, booking a helicopter for your wedding is just a click away

Known as Droom.in, the website offers helicopter rides for as low as Rs 2,500 per person.

While Santa Claus flew over the world to deliver his presents, Droom, an online marketplace for automobiles, hooked up Delhi's adventurous revellers with helicopter rides over Noida on December 25. The start-up offered customers the option to book choppers on-demand via collaboration with taxi-service, Uber and online recharge app, Paytm. While a chopper ride goes for around 1.56 lakh per hour on the website, the Christmas rides were offered at Rs 2,500 per person.

Talking to MAIL TODAY, co-founder of Droom.com, Sandeep Aggarwal said: "In the past, experiences such as these were limited to the top half of society. But we decided to provide this affordable luxury to everyone." The 30-minute long rides were conducted simultaneously in Bengaluru, Mumbai and Pune and provided seating for five people at a time.

The Noida-based ride covered aerial viewings of farmlands, highways and the city. Commenting on the market for this category of aerial vehicles, Aggarwal said: "Ever since we started this four-five months ago, we have had requests for planes and helicopters for occasions such as weddings, anniversary parties, bachelor parties or even marriage proposals. There is definitely a budget for this." Added Rishab Malik, co-founder and V-P of business development, Droom: "With their growing spending power, urban Indians are constantly on the lookout for something new and engaging. This strategic partnership with Uber for chopper rides was meant to provide customers with just that-a way of celebrating Christmas in a novel, exciting way! "The 'UberCHOPPER' initiative was a smash hit, and also showcased our capability from the 'rides & rentals' category."

Lift your Xmas spirits up with an air ride today

Droom, an automobile startup, has an interesting offering this Christmas day for those interested in air rides. The brand has entered into a strategic alliance with Uber, an American cab service startup, a consumer Internet company, for the festive period to bring on-demand chopper rides for the hip-and-happening consumers.

The move is facilitated by the Aerial Vehicle category on Droom’s platform, which allows Droom users to rent and purchase aerial vehicles to fulfil all of their private aviation requirements.

Under the partnership, Droom will enable reservations for half-hour chopper rides through the Uber app on Christmas Day, December 25.

This is how its done: iPhone6_full-screenshot_Delhi_UberCHOPPER; Fire up the app between 10 am and 12 noon on Friday, December 25, 2015. Slide over to the UberCHOPPER view and simply request. If connected, you and your friend will be whisked away to the airfield and get a scenic chopper ride for 15 minutes.

The demand for UberCHOPPER will be skyhigh and supply will be limited. So, you may have to try multiple times. The chopper rides will be available between 1 pm and 3 pm only – so make sure you and your friend are ready to leave.

The total fare is Rs 4,999 inclusive of your Uber ride to and from the airfield and the chopper ride for two.

The lucky users availing themselves of this offer will be regaled with princely treatment. Uber will pick up and drop them to the venue, where they will be treated to a lunch/snack before going on the ride.

Droom and Uber had previously collaborated for their ‘Supercar on Demand’ initiative, allowing consumers a chance to rent premier vehicles such as Audi R8 and Hummer and enjoy the superlative experience of being at the wheel of a supercar.

Uber on demand helicopter ride this christmas

It all started on April Fools Day this year when Ola made people go into a tizzy when they ran an advertisement campaign suggesting people could hire a helicopter to travel, even building a dummy web page for it. However unbelievable the idea might sound, taxi hailing tech start-up Uber has gone ahead and done it even if for a limited amount of time.

This Christmas, Uber in collaboration with Droom will serve the people of Delhi Mumbai, Pune and Bengaluru a chance to take a chopper ride. The reservations can be done through Uber app and the ride will last for thirty minutes. Uber will pick and drop them to the venue and the customers even get to enjoy lunch/snack before the ride.

Rishab Malik, cofounder and vice-president, business development, Droom said in a statement sent to the media, "We are very excited to deepen our relationship with Uber which is one of the most eminent consumer internet brands in the world. This partnership is meant to deliver a unique way of celebrating Christmas to Uber’s consumer base across four major metropolitan cities in India. Droom provides it’s customers with selection, pricing and trust for any automobile asset and service and this alliance leverages our ‘Rides and Rentals category’ for select Uber customers."

A spokesperson from Uber, further added, "Uber is all about giving riders an amazing and unique experience. This is the third time we’re partnering with Droom (the first two being supercars in Delhi and Chandigarh) and are very excited to partner with Droom to bring Chopper rides this Christmas to Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai and Pune."

Founded in 2014 by Sandeep Aggarwal, Droom is an online marketplace for buying and selling new and used automobiles. It has technology-driven marketplace approach that enables transactions between buyers and sellers. UBER is an American international transportation network company headquartered in San Francisco, California which develops, markets and operates the Uber mobile app, allowing consumers with smartphones to submit a trip request which is then routed to Uber drivers who use their own cars

Droom ties up with Uber for chopper rides

BENGALURU: Droom, an online marketplace for automobiles, has entered into another strategic alliance with Uber for the festive period to bring on-demand chopper rides to Indian consumers. The move is facilitated by the Aerial Vehicle category on Droom's platform, which allows Droom users to rent and purchase aerial vehicles to fulfill all of their private aviation requirements.

Under the partnership, Droom will enable reservations for half-hour chopper rides through the Uber app on Christmas Day, December 25.

Rishab Malik, cofounder and vice-president, business development, Droom said in a statement sent to the media, "We are very excited to deepen our relationship with Uber which is one of the most eminent consumer internet brands in the world. This partnership is meant to deliver a unique way of celebrating Christmas to Uber's consumer base across four major metropolitan cities in India. Droom provides it's customers with selection, pricing and trust for any automobile asset and service and this alliance leverages our 'Rides and Rentals category' for select Uber customers. "

An spokesperson from Uber, further added, "Uber is all about giving riders an amazing and unique experience. This is the third time we're partnering with Droom (the first two being supercars in Delhi and Chandigarh) and are very excited to partner with Droom to bring Chopper rides this Christmas to Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai and Pune."

Uber will pick and drop them to the venue, where they will be treated to a lunch/snack before continuing on for the ride. Droom and Uber had previously collaborated for their 'Supercar on Demand' initiative, allowing consumers a chance to rent premier vehicles such as Audi R8 and Hummer and enjoy the superlative experience of being at the wheels of a supercar.

Founded in April 2014 in Silicon Valley, Droom is an online marketplace to buy and sell new and used automobiles and automobile services.

Droom is funded by some of the leading global venture investors and has a very strong and proven founding team with 75 years of combined experience in technology, Internet, ecommerce and FMCG including 35 years in Silicon Valley. Droom has a team of 100+ in its offices in Gurgaon (India) and Silicon Valley ( USA).

Startup Bubble Hasn’t Burst, It’s Cementing Itself Into Something Concrete: Sandeep Aggarwal Of Droom

Sandeep Aggarwal is an active angel investor, philanthropist and Internet visionary. His impeccable business acumen, strong domain knowledge and an undying passion to never give up has helped him grow from being an associate with Kotak Securities to becoming the founder of Shopclues and Droom. He is currently the founder and CEO of Droom – a marketplace for automobiles. He founded ShopClues in 2011 and stepped down as its CEO in October 2013.

In an exclusive candid conversation with Inc42, Sandeep shares the learnings and experiences of his journey and discusses the future of ecommerce in India.

Here are the edited excerpts:

Inc42: How has your entrepreneurial journey panned out till now?

Sandeep: Having started our commercial operations in January 2015, the response to Droom has been overwhelming from all key stakeholders – buyers, sellers and investors. We have been heavily funded by some of the leading global venture investors, and have raised a capital funding of around $20 Mn so far. It is a mark of our success that Droom today is one of the fastest growing consumer internet companies in India. The company has grown by over 501 times since its commercial launch and consistently generates $60 Mn in annualised GMV. Given its growth trajectory and momentum, we feel that 3 years from now, Droom will aim at driving INR 10,000 crore in gross revenue and operating in 18-20 countries and 3 continents.

Inc42: What all learnings and experiences have you gained during your journey with Shopclues?

Sandeep: ShopClues was incepted as an online managed marketplace when all the other ecommerce companies in India were still following the inventory-led models. Having pioneered the approach in the Indian market, there were many learning experiences to glean from the venture. First was the impact of SME merchants and non-standard categories could have on the business; nearly 95 percent of offline retailers today belong to the SME segment, and as such provide a potentially huge market to tap into. Another insight that I gained during my association with ShopClues was the role a disruptive market approach and advanced technology-driven business solutions could have on a startup business. I also learnt the value of a unique brand proposition that appeals to both buyers and sellers during my time with ShopClues.

Another insight that I gained during my association with ShopClues was the role a disruptive market approach and advanced technology-driven business solutions could have on a startup business.

Inc42: How have these helped you in creating and developing Droom?

Sandeep: The experience with ShopClues was pivotal in Droom’s creation. Both these companies have a very strong culture of "customer first". We initially focused on the customer interest and then back calculated all that we needed to accomplish to provide customers a world-class experience.

Advanced technologies were used to integrate the business solutions for the target audience, while offline sellers were brought on board. Services and listings were carefully vetted and quality of service ensured. And now, Droom is the only transactional marketplace for automobiles and automobile services in India with 9K+ B2C sellers, 15K+ products, 6K+ listings, $85mil.+ in listed GMV, 700K+ FB Community members (highest for any automobile community in India) and over 500k+ downloads for mobile apps.

Inc42: How did Droom happen?

Sandeep: After ShopClues, I wanted to breach a new market segment – online transactional automobile space – with a never-before used approach. I saw the fragmented, unorganised nature of the Indian automobile marketplace, and thus the idea for Droom was born.

Inc42: How lucrative is the market for Droom? How does it plan to tap the available opportunities?

Sandeep: In 2012, the used car market in India became bigger than the new cars market. As India is the 3rd largest automobile market in the world, so, the addressable opportunity is huge. Moreover, less than 0.5% of this industry is penetrated online. We believe that the automobile industry in India will rise from $125 Bn to $225 Bn by 2020, and the online business will go up from $500 Mn to $20 Bn by 2020. There are 48 Mn automobiles sold in India and the total installed base of automobiles in India is 300 Mn. For every new car, 1.2 used cars and for every new two-wheeler, 1.4 used two wheelers are sold in India. However, at present, only 0.7% is penetrated online, which provides a vast potential market to tap into.

We are looking to add more services and categories to our existing offerings to augment our range. We have already covered the high-end as well as economical automobile categories, and have also launched an aerial category to cater to the HNIs and corporate professionals. We will also continue building our technology platform and work on our existing technology infrastructure. In time, we will extend our services to other parts of South East Asia as well as other regions across the globe to revolutionise how automobile business is approached across the globe.

Inc42: What is the revenue model for Droom?

Sandeep: The revenue model for Droom is as follows:

Current selling service fee of 1.5% on a successful transaction from seller. This can be increased to 2.5% in a year’s time.

Selling service fee of 12% on a successful transaction from service providers. This can be 15% to 18% in a year’s time.

INR 99 to INR 299 per listing from C2C seller.

A monthly subscription fee of INR 500 for Pro-Seller Premium.

Online ad revenue that is almost 100% incremental gross margin business.

Inc42: How do you verify the listings on your platform?

Sandeep: Buyers suffer from lack of trust, standardization of pricing, and access to variety. Sellers suffer from lower pricing due to poor buyer perception, low trade velocity, expensive physical retail and limited reach. With Droom, we are building trust, selection and pricing advantage for buyers

This is mostly done through Droom’s Full Circle Trust Programme. We enable savings of 8-10% with nine trust factors that grade seller, vehicle and documentation. The Buyer Protection ensures that the user’s money is safe in case the transaction fails to close. The brand verifies each seller and issues a Verified Seller badge that is visible to buyers. Also, to further ensure transparency, Droom offers independent, objective and unbiased automobile inspection reports. We also have an Orange Book Value-algorithmic pricing recommendation engine which currently has nearly 1000 B2C sellers and 6000 listings worth 250 crores.

Inc42: How has the company grown since its inception? What is the number of app downloads you have achieved so far? Please share some other numbers that depict the growth of Droom?

Sandeep: The company has grown tremendously since its inception. Since commencing commercial operations in January 2015, the company has grown by over 300 times and is currently driving annual GMV worth $30 Mn. We have 9k+ B2C sellers, 15k+ products, 6k+ listings, $85mil.+ in listed GMV, 700k+ FB Community members (highest for any automobile community in India) and over 500k+ downloads for mobile apps.

Inc42: What are your expansion plans for Droom?

Sandeep: It takes 6 to 8 years to create a world-class company. Keeping that in mind, we have formulated and planned a lot of strategies for the future. We currently operate in 14 categories and we will expand to 20 by end of this year. By end of 2016, we are also looking to expand outwards from India and establish our services in SE Asia, Western Europe and North America. Additionally, considering the fact that Droom has the most robust and advanced platform for any ecommerce company in India, we will continue to expand our platform features and categories to keep up with the latest technological developments.

Inc42: How have you used the $16 Mn (INR 100 Cr.) funding towards the development of Droom? Can we expect another funding round soon?

Sandeep: The funding secured has gone into the continued development of our tech platform and in the launch of new categories. Moreover, the investment will also power our expansion in India and SE Asia, as well as in building the leadership team with strategic hiring of the right talent.

Inc42: You are a veteran of the ecommerce space. How is ecommerce landscape in India evolving? What can we expect in the future?

Sandeep: The ecommerce ecosystem in India is entering a phase of maturation. Startups have now adopted a smarter approach towards business solutions. The increasing smartphone adoption and internet penetration will further boost the growth and present businesses with an unparalleled opportunity to scale up. We can expect the industry to grow over the next five years before entering a phase of consolidation.

The ecommerce ecosystem in India is entering a phase of maturation. Startups have now adopted a smarter approach towards business solutions.

Inc42: Digital commerce is still in a nascent stage in India. As per the recent Gartner report, it accounts for less than 1% of the total retail sales in 2015. What’s missing? How can the ecommerce players drive growth and capture more market share?

Sandeep: Digital commerce in India has largely been driven by the smartphone revolution in the country. However, despite the massive increase in consumer adoption, less than 20 percent of the total population has leveraged the benefits of internet penetration and smartphone usage. As such, there is a potentially large market which is untapped at present.

Improving infrastructure will definitely go a long way in improving the ecommerce growth within the country. Mobile operators and ecommerce players need to come together to make a ubiquitous high-speed mobile networking possible. Moreover, online businesses should also make their interface interactive, yet simple to provide a smoother and more seamless experience for the end-user.

Inc42: A lot of ecommerce players are also going offline. Do you think it’s a wise move? Is online and offline integration the way to go?

Sandeep: Yes, definitely. While they have embraced online commerce with open arms, Indian consumers have long been accustomed to the comfort and trust factor associated with brick-and-mortar stores. Omnichannel ventures combine the benefits of digital commerce with those of the offline channels to optimise their businesses and enhance the consumer experience.

Omnichannel ventures combine the benefits of digital commerce with those of the offline channels to optimise their businesses and enhance the consumer experience.

Inc42: What’s your take on the hype surrounding the startup bubble? Do you think it has finally burst as the funds are drying up? In such a scenario, according to you, which startups will prevail?

Sandeep: The bubble hasn’t burst; rather, it is just cementing itself into something concrete. After widespread proliferation, the startup landscape in the country is going through a stage of evolution as the existing startups concentrate on consolidation after a rapid scale-up. Funding for the startups will help them leverage technology for their growth and business, and ultimately these are the ones which will prevail.

Inc42: How has the funding scenario changed in the current scenario? Do you think it will get tougher for startups to raise funding in the future?

Sandeep: The investment landscape in India has evolved a lot over the past few years. After the initial heavy investments into all startup ventures, both investors and entrepreneurs have grown smarter about capital management. The focus today has shifted on building robust products that can really create a tangible impact in the market rather than just follow what is trending and successful.

As such, we are seeing a renewed dedication towards early stage and seed stage investments. Several growth incubators, accelerators and early stage investment facilitators have cropped up to guide and support startups, while angel investors with entrepreneurial experience are also open to mentoring the upcoming wave of entrepreneurs. I, personally, have also been involved as an angel investor and keep my eyes open for the next big innovative venture that leverages technology and has potential to disrupt the market.

Inc42: Any words of advice for entrepreneurs currently facing a tough time with their startups and contemplating shutdowns.

Sandeep: I have but one thing to say to entrepreneurs going through a rough patch with their ventures – never give up and never let your dreams die. Every entrepreneurial journey entails testing times where your vision and faith in your venture would be tested to the limits. There are learning experiences to be gleaned from every hurdle, ever stumble. Remember, there will always be challenges when you venture off the beaten path, but if you stay strong and keep an open mind to learning, you will find your success.

Exiting a venture and creating/developing a completely new venture from scratch can be a tricky and tough endeavor. However, Sandeep does it with flair and makes it look easy. His journey is like a phoenix rising from the ashes. With Droom vrooming ahead, he aims to soar high; wishing him all the success.

Uber ties up with Droom ties up for helicopter rides rides

Droom, an online marketplace for autos, has entered into another strategic alliance with Uber for the festive period to bring on-demand chopper rides to Indian consumers.

Under the partnership, Droom will enable reservations for half-hour chopper rides through the Uber app on Christmas Day

An spokesperson from Uber, further added, "Uber is all about giving riders an amazing and unique experience. This is the third time we're partnering with Droom (the first two being supercars in Delhi and Chandigarh) and are very excited to partner with Droom to bring Chopper rides this Christmas to Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai and Pune."

Uber will pick and drop them to the venue, where they will be treated to a lunch/snack before continuing on for the ride. Droom and Uber had previously collaborated for their 'Supercar on Demand' initiative, allowing consumers a chance to rent premier vehicles such as Audi R8 and Hummer and enjoy the superlative experience of being at the wheels of a supercar.

Founded in April 2014 in Silicon Valley, Droom is an online marketplace to buy and sell new and used automobiles and automobile services.

Droom is funded by some of the leading global venture investors and has a very strong and proven founding team with 75 years of combined experience in technology, Internet, ecommerce and FMCG including 35 years in Silicon Valley. Droom has a team of 100+ in its offices in Gurgaon (India) and Silicon Valley (USA).

Droom partners with Uber; to provide chopper rides on Christmas day

Droom, a marketplace for vehicle trade, has entered into a strategic alliance with Uber for the Christmas period to bring on-demand chopper rides for Indian consumers. The move is facilitated by the aerial vehicle category on Droom’s platform, which allows users to rent and purchase aerial vehicles to meet their private aviation requirements.

Under the partnership, Droom will enable reservations for 30-minute chopper rides through the Uber app on Christmas Day, December 25.

Speaking on the announcement, Rishab Malik, co-founder and vicepresident, business development, Droom, said, "We are very excited to deepen our relationship with Uber which is one of the most eminent consumer internet brands in the world. This partnership is meant to deliver a unique way of celebrating Christmas to Uber’s consumer base across four major metropolitan cities in India. Droom provides its customers with selection, pricing and trust for any automobile asset and service and this alliance leverages our ‘Rides and Rentals category’ for select Uber customers."

An Uber spokesperson further added, "Uber is all about giving riders an amazing and unique experience. This is the third time we are partnering with Droom and are very excited to partner with Droom to bring chopper rides this Christmas to Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai and Pune."

Droom and Uber had previously collaborated for their ‘Supercar on Demand’ initiative, allowing consumers a chance to rent premier vehicles such as Audi and Hummer.

Chopper rides, tea, ginger bread houses: Gifting ideas galore this festive season

From chopper rides, to tea to ginger bread houses, gifting possibilities have you spoilt for choice this festive season.

Droom, one of India's most trusted motortplaces, has taken its user offerings a notch higher this Christmas. The brand has entered into another strategic alliance with Uber for the festive period to bring on-demand chopper rides for the hip and happening Indian consumers.

The move is facilitated by the Aerial Vehicle category on Droom's platform, which allows Droom users to rent and purchase aerial vehicles to fulfill all of their private aviation requirements a statement said.

Under the partnership, Droom will enable reservations for half-hour chopper rides through the Uber app on Christmas Day, December 25.

Typhoo Tea brings beautifully treasured bespoke gifts, each one specially designed for lovers of the brew.

"Tea boxes are a great way to store packets of tea, and every tea lover secretly wishes they had one if they don't already. Help them get into the holiday spirit this year by gifting them these Christmas tea hampers," a statement said.

Treasures box with 2 variants: Green tea box treasured green tea variants like Traditional Tulsi, Masala, Coconut, Jasmine, Moroccan Mint, Lemongrass and Natural. With a dozen teas to try they're sure to like at least a handful of them.

Then, Tarta, one of Pune's most popular cake shops at Doubletree by Hilton, every year creates a wonderful gingerbread house in the Christmas month. The ginger bread house is especially made by the pastry master chefs that give you a Christmas feel at your doorstep throughout the month.

"This small house is a great idea as a Christmas gift or even to take home and enjoy with the family," a statement said.

Tarta is also offering a wide range of other Christmas bakery items such as: Christmas tree ginger bread cookies, Christmas pudding, Mince pie, Dundee cake, Christmas cake, Mini Panetone, Stolen and Red Velvet cookies.

And, through Flipkart, concoct a unique mix of tech, fashion and home decor items for your gifting checklist this Christmas season.

For Droom, Old is Gold

As per several reports, in 2014, India's used car market was valued at USD 1.5 billion with over 3.5 million units sold annually. The sector is growing at 20-22% CAGR. However, the sector is expected to value at USD 45 billion with 8 million units sold annually by 2020.

This clearly shows a huge market and several players such as CarDekho, CarTrade, OLX, Quikr, Spinny, Zoomo are trying to capture consumers mindset. As a result, Quikr Cars, OLX and CarTrade are aggressively advertising on mass media and online.

In a latest development, Droom, a 12-month-old online marketplace to buy and sell used automobiles, has launched its debut mass media campaign to reach out to spread awareness. The brand recently roped in Contract Advertising as its creative agency.

Their campaign 'Bindaas Ghoom', which includes two TVCs highlight the joys of owning a second hand vehicle, which is properly verified on all accounts. Both ads feature a couple who debate whether their recently bought vehicles warrant a celebration or not. While the men in both TVCs are reluctant to be overjoyed, the women turn the spotlight on the ways in which the vehicle will be a most pleasant addition to their lives. They appropriately underplay the importance that one attaches to the concept of being "second" and emphasize on the fact that the vehicles are "new" for them! The ads end with the tagline 'Miley feeling nai wali'. Both the films showcase the pleasure that any vehicle brings into the lives of its owners, be it new or pre-owned.

Speaking on the idea behind this campaign, Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder and CEO, Droom, says, "This campaign is based on consumer insights. Firstly, consumer faces a lot of trust issues while buying used cars, such as they have no clue about the condition of the car, dents, engine and price. Secondly, people attach a lot of pride in buying either a used or new car. We are urging consumers to keep Droom in the consideration set whenever they plan buy a used car. Moreover, the ticket size is much higher in our case, so we have to create trust with our users." He further added that at present Droom has the opportunity to own the market leadership.

High on Recall?

Now, since used cars has been a category to watch out for in India of late, and as pointed out, all the major players have based their advertising on the message that owning a used car is now easy and trustworthy. Though the current ad from Droom is a nicely executed film, unfortunately, until the end, people are unable to realize which brand or platform is talked about. People will have to watch the entire film to find out that it is for Droom.

Aggarwal says, "We wanted to weave an emotional story around the used cars and hence avoided using the brand name in the story. The idea was to engage and connect with the audiences. Our objective was to change the people's perception towards buying a used vehicle, which often ranges from less positive to negative attitudes as compared to buying a new car."

Commenting on the ad, Saket Vaidya, Regional Head, Business Leader and Digital Solution Architect, ‎Indigo Consulting opines that Droom has wasted a big opportunity. "It is a nicely executed film but until the end one does not recognizes that it's an ad for Droom. Moreover, the brand could have actually associated any feature of the used car buying-selling with the plot, which could have become a lingo in the category. Imagine the kind of recall, the brand would have got from it," adds Vaidya.

He further pointed at the brief given to the agency was not appropriate. "The entire tonality of the film seems to be negative. Even when people buy a used car, they celebrate it because it's a car. The brand should discourage showcasing such attitude in the ad films. One must understand that such an attitude around the used cars is fabricated but in real it does not exists. Droom could have shown how used car helps people, happiness it adds to life and other aspects. In my opinion, the agency has executed the film very wisely but the brief was not right," shares Vaidya.

A Differentiated Offering

Droom has a very transactional model where sellers list their inventory for consumers to pick and choose. So, when a consumer zeroes in on a model, he/she has to pay 2% of the listed price to Droom, which serves as a token amount to block the particular vehicle listing. Next, consumer has to visit the seller outlet and pay the left over 98% for picking up the car. However, if consumer decides not to buy the car, Droom returns the token money.

The platform also allows general consumers to list their vehicles. However, the platform claims itself to be completely different from other players operating in this market such as Quikr, OLX, CarDekho and others.

"OLX and Quikr are online classifieds, where consumer interacts with the consumer. The trust factor for a vehicle is completely missing as people have to assess the condition of the car themselves. However, Droom provides a score to every car depending on its condition (after a thorough inspection), which assures the consumer. Moving on, CarDekho or CarTrade, are content companies that generate leads for sellers. A consumer does not want to be repeatedly called by the sellers even if he has expressed interest in buying a used car. In our case, seller has no information about a consumer until he visits his outlet. Moreover, as soon as a user commits to buy a certain car, we de-activate the listing and hence positioning the consumer as an exclusive buyer for that particular automobile," shares Aggarwal.

Droom is spending over Rs 50 crore in the coming 12 months to build its brand. It has allocated funds on TV, Print, OOH and Radio. Besides, brand has allocated a separate budget for digital including social media, performance, and others. Droom is targeting metro centric and digital savvy audience between the age group of 21 and 45 years.

The platform's overall marketing strategy includes a mix of offline and online media with three focus areas - Creating Viral Content, Performance Based Approach and Emotional Connect with audiences. "The first two areas are covered via our digital initiatives. We spend on strengthening our social media community, app downloads and performance oriented campaigns. However, to build a stronger emotional connect we are doing mass media campaigns. We are working with our agencies to create viral content, and are regularly mapping our footsteps," adds Aggarwal.

He further adds that people do a lot of research before making a decision to buy-sell car. "It is a non-impulsive category and hence digital is one of the key mediums for us. There is a huge challenge of category building ahead of us," shares Aggarwal.

For the record, in last one year, Droom has made over 6,500 transactions and currently it clams to sell 40 vehicles on an average per day. It earns 60% of its revenues from two-wheelers, 25% from cars and rest from the other services.

Read our entire coverage on Droom

He further claims that Droom gets over 2 million monthly visitors. It has established a 1.3 million strong community on Facebook. "Our users are spending time on research on Droom. They spend 10-19 minutes on our platform and surf nearly 21 pages at once," shares Aggarwal. The platform already provides its services in 71 cities and will be adding more. It currently works with dealers across the country and the brand is valued at upwards of Rs 300 crore.

Droom is certainly trying hard to grow in the category and acquire leadership, but will it be able to take the mindspace that is occupied by the early movers in the category is yet to be seen.

Droom to Ease Price Fixation of Used Vehicles

Droom is amongst the fastest growing consumer Internet companies in India with 19k+ B2C sellers, 25k+ products, 18k+ listings, Rs 675 crore+ in listed GMV

Droom, a marketplace for automobiles, has recently announced the launch of Orange Book Value (OBV) to measure the fair price range for any used automobile.

The Silicon Valley founded start-up states that used automobile market in India is full of uncertainties and pricing mechanism is often ambiguous, subjective and dependant on the seller’s discretion.

"Unlike a ‘new’ vehicle that comes with a standard price, the pricing of a pre-owned vehicle always varies depending on parameters like condition, kilometres driven etc. Orange Book Value is aimed to provide fair valuation of any vehicle," says the company in a statement.

"We are launching India’s first algorithmic pricing engine to calculate the fair market value of OBV. Right valuation of a pre-owned vehicle has always been a difficult task for both buyers and sellers and with OBV we have tried to address and solve this problem," says Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder and CEO, Droom.

The company claims that the OBV is the most trusted valuation guide for automobiles, be it cycle, bike, car or even plane.

"Droom is technology and data science driven company and with our innovative and disruptive marketplace approach, we build trust, pricing, transparency and convenience advantages in a unique way for buyers and sellers for used automobiles. Launch of this feature is a step towards this commitment to our users, "adds Aggarwal.

Till now the market for buying and selling of cars has remained very fragmented and price fixation has always remained a challenge. India’s second hand auto market which is bigger than its premium car market has always had the problem to fix a price which is suitable for the two parties, the buyer and seller.

Droom is amongst the fastest growing consumer Internet companies in India with 19k+ B2C sellers, 25k+ products, 18k+ listings, Rs 675 crore+ in listed GMV.

The start-up has witnessed a rapid expansion since its public launch in January 2015 and has grown over 500 times during this period.

Droom launches Orange Book Value, an algorithmic pricing engine

A seller can consider OBV pricing while creating a listing on Droom platform or while selling an automobile on any platform or channel

Droom, an online marketplace for automobiles, has launched Orange Book Value, an algorithmic pricing engine to measure the fair price range for any used automobile. Orange Book Value is aimed to provide fair valuation of any vehicle.

Sandeep Aggarwal, founder and CEO, Droom said,"Right valuation of a pre-owned vehicle has always been a difficult task for both buyers and sellers and with OBV we have tried to address and solve this problem. We have developed OBV with a long term vision of making it the most trusted valuation guide for automobiles, be it cycle, bike, car or even plane.

Droom is technology and data science driven company and with our innovative and disruptive marketplace approach, we build trust, pricing, transparency and convenience advantages in a unique way for buyers and sellers for used automobiles. Launch of this feature is a step towards this commitment to our users."

Now any automobile buyer, seller check the price for any used automobile. A seller can consider OBV pricing while creating a listing on Droom platform or while selling an automobile on any platform or channel. Similarly, a buyer can refer to OBV pricing to have another reference point about the fair market value of an automobile, be it at Droom or any other platform or channel. OBV is category agnostic and one can find the fair valuation of any automobile from bike to plane.

Droom publicly launched in January 2015 and the company raised Rs 100 crore in July this year on a Series A funding round raised by Lightbox.

Droom has 19,000 B2C sellers, 25,000 products, 18,000 listings, Rs 675 crore in listed GMV, according to a statement shared by the company. It has a team of 100+ in its offices in Gurgaon (India) and Silicon Valley (USA).

Droom to Ease Price Fixation of Used Vehicles

Droom is amongst the fastest growing consumer Internet companies in India with 19k+ B2C sellers, 25k+ products, 18k+ listings, Rs 675 crore+ in listed GMV

Droom, a marketplace for automobiles, has recently announced the launch of Orange Book Value (OBV) to measure the fair price range for any used automobile.

The Silicon Valley founded start-up states that used automobile market in India is full of uncertainties and pricing mechanism is often ambiguous, subjective and dependant on the seller’s discretion.

"Unlike a ‘new’ vehicle that comes with a standard price, the pricing of a pre-owned vehicle always varies depending on parameters like condition, kilometres driven etc. Orange Book Value is aimed to provide fair valuation of any vehicle," says the company in a statement.

"We are launching India’s first algorithmic pricing engine to calculate the fair market value of OBV. Right valuation of a pre-owned vehicle has always been a difficult task for both buyers and sellers and with OBV we have tried to address and solve this problem," says Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder and CEO, Droom.

The company claims that the OBV is the most trusted valuation guide for automobiles, be it cycle, bike, car or even plane.

"Droom is technology and data science driven company and with our innovative and disruptive marketplace approach, we build trust, pricing, transparency and convenience advantages in a unique way for buyers and sellers for used automobiles. Launch of this feature is a step towards this commitment to our users, "adds Aggarwal.

Till now the market for buying and selling of cars has remained very fragmented and price fixation has always remained a challenge. India’s second hand auto market which is bigger than its premium car market has always had the problem to fix a price which is suitable for the two parties, the buyer and seller.

Droom is amongst the fastest growing consumer Internet companies in India with 19k+ B2C sellers, 25k+ products, 18k+ listings, Rs 675 crore+ in listed GMV.

The start-up has witnessed a rapid expansion since its public launch in January 2015 and has grown over 500 times during this period.

Helicopter Rides Catching on for Weddings

Destination wedding became popular when Ayan Mukerji’s directorial Ye Jawaani Hai Deewani showed how much fun can it be. But weddings in India seem to have gone further... up in the air.

Sandeep Agarwal from Droom says, "We have also arranged planes for an entire wedding. The client was based out of Mumbai. We had about 80 guests on board."

Most such bookings are from Mumbai, Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. And now, Bengaluru has started making a few enquiries as well, says Captain Atish from Colossus Air Services.

Sandeep says that planes are sometimes hired to pick up guests. "People hire one to host a bachelor party or sometimes even propose to their girlfriends or boyfriends."

Eighty per cent of his customers are male, he says, and they earn anything between Rs5 lakh and Rs11 lakh annually. Within four months, Droom has received about 20 bookings. "A majority of bookings are for this December and January," he shares.

Sandeep provides three kinds of planes depending on the requirement -- Falcon, Hawker, Bombardier. It costs a minimum of Rs1.46 lakh for an hour. Guests sometimes also have special requests. "They want customised flower arrangements and menu," he said.

Sunil Narayanan, director at Chipsan Aviation, says that 75 per cent of the time people hire helicopters for showering flowers while a marriage is in progress or when the happy couple step out of the church.

"People are sometimes particular about being married at the Guruvayur Temple, but there are few wedding halls around. So, they are forced to book halls 200-300 km away from the temple and the couple and relatives fly in to the hall in a helicopter," he says. The helicopter service is also used for flying to honeymoon spots.

The aviation services are particular about safety. Surya Narayana makes sure he has a 12-kg dry chemical extinguisher and a fully equipped first-aid box.

Hiring a helicopter is not easy. It requires a written permission from the District Magistrate.

"Along with that they also have to arrange for medical, fire and security services at the place where the copter will land," says Colossus’ Captain Atish. But his clients are prepared to take the trouble for a bit of novelty.

But sometimes these helicopters also face the brunt of bad weather.

"We inform the client in advance about it. We make sure that weather is perfect for flying before we take off," he says.

What does it cost?

Price: Rs1.46 lakh per hour

Average cost: Rs3 to Rs4 lakhs per wedding

Occasions: Wedding, proposals, bachelor parties, commute to wedding halls 80% of customers male

Personally Tech With Droom CEO Sandeep Aggarwal

Our weekly column Personally Tech is a space where you can get an inside look at the tech that's powering the people behind your favourite products. Whether that's people like the founder of Biteclub, whose company is sending your lunch today, or the South Asia head of Nvidia, whose graphics cards are powering your gaming PC, or the head of Anchor electricals, whose products are literally all around you, the fact is that leaders from all walks of life are finding their world transformed by apps and gadgets, just like the rest of us.

This week, we caught up with Sandeep Aggarwal, the founder and CEO of Droom, an online automobile seller. Here's a look at the apps and gadgets that power Aggarwal's life.

Describe your technology setup - what computer/ phone/ tablet/ camera/ gaming console/ other gadgets do you use?
Sandeep Aggarwal: I use an 11-inch MacBook Air, an iPhone 6 Plus, and an iPad Mini 4. I'm a big Bose fan, and own almost all models of Bose sound systems, be it headphones, portable speakers or large home theaters. I like gaming, and own a Wii U and a PlayStation 3, and I also love my Beats wireless headphones.

What are three apps (mobile/ tablet or PC/ Mac) you couldn't live without?
Sandeep Aggarwal: Three apps that have to be on any phone I'm using are Google Maps, to get around, Facebook, to keep in touch with people, and of course Droom.

What is one gadget (other than your phone) you never travel without?
Sandeep Aggarwal: My Beats wireless headphones.

What is your dream gadget/ technology setup?
Sandeep Aggarwal: I love audio equipment, and of course, there's always the next big thing in audio technology. My wishlist right now is for an extremely powerful audio and video receiver with very powerful and fine output for audio, and 3D video output.

How has technology changed the way in which you work?
Sandeep Aggarwal: Earlier I used to drive the technology and now technology drives me. In last 5 to 7 years, there has been so rapid and immense innovation in technology and empowerment is that my day starts and end with the technology - with my smartphone, my tablet, using apps, or over the Internet, I'm always, fully connected.

Droom looks to double headcount by March 2016

Droom, an online marketplace for automobiles, is looking to double its headcount over the next few months by hiring over 100 people from leading institutes for functions like technology, marketing and customer support.

A significant portion of the hiring will also be directed towards building a specialised team to help customers with their buying decisions.

Droom
A significant portion of the hiring will also be directed towards building a specialised team to help customers with their buying decisions.

"Droom has seen remarkable growth in the last few months and we are now looking to expand our talent pool by bringing in fresh crop of passionate individuals," Droom founder and CEO Sandeep Aggarwal told PTI.

"We are recruiting from top institutes like Delhi School of Economics, Delhi College of Engineering, IIM-Shillong, IIM-Udaipur and Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, among others," he said.

He added that the company is looking to double its headcount by March next year from the current base of 120.

Aggarwal had earlier founded e-commerce firm ShopClues.

"Apart from fresh talent, we are also looking at hiring for middle and senior levels across departments. This will also be important as we expand to South East Asian market by early 2016," he said.

Founded in April 2014 in Silicon Valley, Droom offers a marketplace to sell cars and motorcycles, superbikes and premium cars as well as planes. It has raised Rs 100 crore funding in Series A, led by Lightbox.

It claims to be clocking Rs 500 crore in annualised Gross Merchandise Value (GMV, or the gross value of products sold through the marketplace over a certain period of time).

"The ramp up will help us further scale up operations. We will recruit talent across departments, including technology, marketing, product management, category management and customer support," he said.

Droom will also beef up its special vertical called 'Droom Assist'.

"Under Droom Assist, our experts help customers in making their buying decisions as per the desired requirements like budget and technical specifications, thus making vehicle hunting a personalised experience for users. We will expand this team as well," Aggarwal added.

Start-ups wary of policy restrictions

Smaller e-commerce companies also fear the government's move on further regulations would only stifle their growth

The government's proposed start-up policy might result in unnecessary policing and restrictions on the sector, fear some.

Start-up, restart

More than a policy on start-ups, the need is to free these from red tape, said Sandeep Aggarwal, founder of ShopClues and chief executive of Droom. The government, he said, should work on streamlining the taxation rules.

"There is no tax advantage of operating in India,'' he said, while noting countries such as Singapore have turned into start-up hubs because of the attractive tax regime there.

Another top executive at an online company said to set up an e-commerce venture in India is time consuming and cumbersome, with clearances needed from various departments. In the US, this takes a couple of hours.

Smaller e-commerce companies also fear the government's move on further regulations would only stifle their growth. A group of representatives of small and medium-sized e-commerce companies have sought a review of the government's plan to define e-commerce and the business models which operate under it. Led by E-Commerce Coalition secretary Aamir Jariwala, they filed a representation to the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP) last week.

The coalition said it apprehended that any definition for the existing e-commerce marketplace models might lead to escalating the level of regulation in the sector. It stressed that the government only needed to liberalise the rules on the sector, allowing foreign investment in inventory-led companies, too.

However, business chambers such as the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) are supportive of a government policy. Such a policy would help start-ups secure funds in an easier way, help them formulate an exit strategy, and have policies around easy liquidation of business, which have all been demands of the sector, they believe.

"A start-up policy is most definitely required, as it will help in creating a favourable system. There should be ease of doing business for start-ups and getting approvals for legitimate start-ups should be easier and faster; a single-window clearance system would greatly help," said Viresh Oberoi, chairman of the CII's national e-commerce committee. This should be an umbrella policy, targeted at all sectors, from manufacturing to e-commerce, Oberoi said. ''The basic idea is to make the process of setting up start-ups simpler and transparent."

In his Independence Day speech, the prime minster had announced a 'Start-up India, Stand-up India' campaign, to promote bank financing for start-ups and offer these incentives to boost entrepreneurship and job creation. The draft policy in the making is drawing inputs from some knows names, such as SoftBank President Nikesh Arora, Snapdeal CEO Kunal Bahl, Oyo Rooms' founder Ritesh Agarwal and former Infosys director Mohandas Pai.

Droom to hire over 100 people by March 2016

A significant portion of the hiring will also be directed towards building a specialised team to help customers with their buying decisions.

Droom, an online marketplace for automobiles, is looking to double its headcount over the next few months by hiring over 100 people from leading institutes for functions like technology, marketing and customer support.

A significant portion of the hiring will also be directed towards building a specialised team to help customers with their buying decisions.

"Droom has seen remarkable growth in the last few months and we are now looking to expand our talent pool by bringing in fresh crop of passionate individuals," Droom founder and CEO Sandeep Aggarwal told PTI.

"We are recruiting from top institutes like Delhi School of Economics, Delhi College of Engineering, IIM-Shillong, IIM-Udaipur and Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, among others," he said.

He added that the company is looking to double its headcount by March next year from the current base of 120.

Aggarwal had earlier founded e-commerce firm ShopClues.

"Apart from fresh talent, we are also looking at hiring for middle and senior levels across departments. This will also be important as we expand to South East Asian market by early 2016," he said.

Founded in April 2014 in Silicon Valley, Droom offers a marketplace to sell cars and motorcycles, superbikes and premium cars as well as planes. It has raised Rs 100 crore funding in Series A, led by Lightbox.

It claims to be clocking Rs 500 crore in annualised Gross Merchandise Value (GMV, or the gross value of products sold through the marketplace over a certain period of time).

"The ramp up will help us further scale up operations. We will recruit talent across departments, including technology, marketing, product management, category management and customer support," he said.

Droom will also beef up its special vertical called 'Droom Assist'.

"Under Droom Assist, our experts help customers in making their buying decisions as per the desired requirements like budget and technical specifications, thus making vehicle hunting a personalised experience for users. We will expand this team as well," Aggarwal added.

Droom looks to double headcount by March 2016

Droom, an online marketplace for automobiles, is looking to double its headcount over the next few months by hiring over 100 people from leading institutes for functions like technology, marketing and customer support.

A significant portion of the hiring will also be directed towards building a specialised team to help customers with their buying decisions.

"Droom has seen remarkable growth in the last few months and we are now looking to expand our talent pool by bringing in fresh crop of passionate individuals," Droom founder and CEO Sandeep Aggarwal told PTI.

"We are recruiting from top institutes like Delhi School of Economics, Delhi College of Engineering, IIM-Shillong, IIM-Udaipur and Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, among others," he said.

He added that the company is looking to double its headcount by March next year from the current base of 120.

Aggarwal had earlier founded e-commerce firm ShopClues.

"Apart from fresh talent, we are also looking at hiring for middle and senior levels across departments. This will also be important as we expand to South East Asian market by early 2016," he said.

Founded in April 2014 in Silicon Valley, Droom offers a marketplace to sell cars and motorcycles, superbikes and premium cars as well as planes. It has raised Rs 100 crore funding in Series A, led by Lightbox.

It claims to be clocking Rs 500 crore in annualised Gross Merchandise Value (GMV, or the gross value of products sold through the marketplace over a certain period of time).

"The ramp up will help us further scale up operations. We will recruit talent across departments, including technology, marketing, product management, category management and customer support," he said.

Droom will also beef up its special vertical called 'Droom Assist'.

"Under Droom Assist, our experts help customers in making their buying decisions as per the desired requirements like budget and technical specifications, thus making vehicle hunting a personalised experience for users. We will expand this team as well," Aggarwal added.

Droom looks to double headcount by March 2016

Droom, an online marketplace for automobiles, is looking to double its headcount over the next few months by hiring over 100 people from leading institutes for functions like technology, marketing and customer support.

"Droom has seen remarkable growth in the last few months and we are now looking to expand our talent pool by bringing in fresh crop of passionate individuals," Droom founder and CEO Sandeep Aggarwal told PTI.

Droom forays into Maharashtra with 250 sellers across four cities

The company's venture to Mumbai, Pune, Nasik, and Thane This will allow users in these areas to avail other automobile related services like auto insurance, auto inspection, road side assistance, car care and rides on rent through Droom platform.

Online automobile marketplace Droom has expanded its base to Maharashtra by on-boarding more than 250 sellers in the state, the company said in a statement.

The company's venture to Mumbai, Pune, Nasik, and Thane This will allow users in these areas to avail other automobile related services like auto insurance, auto inspection, road side assistance, car care and rides on rent through Droom platform.

With hundreds of sellers already active from Maharashtra, Droom will be looking to make most of the unparalleled business proposition the region offers and expand its service network to other parts of the state.

Speaking on the announcement Co-founder & VP of Business Development at Droom Rishab Malik, said, "Our innovative and disruptive marketplace approach coupled with the advanced technology tools that we have built will empower sellers in the state to sell more automobiles online through Droom, simultaneously buyers will benefit from our data driven approach, pricing advantages and transparency."

The brand has also tied up with various premium car dealers such as Excel Cars and organised pre-owned car dealers like CarKing already present in Mumbai to ensure high-quality service delivery.

Droom has recently announced its entry in Punjab market and with its expansion to Mumbai, Pune, Nasik and Thane the platform will now be present in close to 70 cities across the country.

Droom gets Contract and Equinox as advertising, media partners

Campaign for online marketplace for automobiles and related services to launch shortly

Droom, an online marketplace for used and new automobiles and auto-related services, has announced Contract Advertising and Equinox as its creative and media buying agencies.

The company is set to launch a campaign soon across TV, print, outdoor and online formats.

Contract Advertising will be taking care of creative duties across formats including traditional and digital.

Sandeep Aggarwal, founder and CEO, Droom, said, "We were very impressed by the works both agencies have done for new age companies and hence we decided to go forward and make them our partners in brand building. Droom has built a highly innovative platform to solve buyer and seller pain points in buying and selling used automobiles and we are ready to showcase this 21st century online experience to mass audiences now."

Droom Announces Contract & Equinox as Creative & Media Partners

Droom, India’s first online marketplace for used and new automobiles and auto-related services, has announced Contract Advertising and Equinox as its creative and media buying agencies.

The company is all set to launch is brand marketing campaign soon which will be spread across TV, print, outdoor and online formats. The mandate for creative duties was bagged by Contract Advertising on the basis of its credentials and the recent work put out by the agency. Contract will be taking care of creative duties across formats including TV, print and digital. Equinox will be responsible for media buying for the company.

On awarding of the creative and media buying mandates, Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder and CEO, Droom said," We were very impressed by the works of both agencies have done for new age companies and hence we decided to go forward and make them our partners in brand building. Droom has built a highly innovative platform to solve buyer and seller pain points in buying and selling used automobiles and we are ready to showcase this 21st century online experience to mass audiences now."

Droom has in a short span grown rapidly and now boasts of Rs 500 + crore of listed GMV with a presence in over 60 cities. With its steep growth pace, the brand is also doubling its marketing efforts and will soon be out with an aggressive marketing campaign.

Droom appoints Contract Advertising as its creative agency

Droom, which claims to be India's first online marketplace for used and new automobiles and auto-related services, has assigned its creative and media buying duties to Contract Advertising and the Publicis Groupe-owned Equinox, respectively.

The company is all set to launch its brand marketing campaign soon which will be spread across TV, print, outdoor and online formats. As part of the creative mandate, Contract will take care of creative duties across formats including TV, print and digital, while Equinox will be responsible for media buying for the company.

On the awarding of the creative and media buying mandates, Sandeep Aggarwal, founder and CEO, Droom, says, "We were impressed by the work both agencies have done for new age companies, and hence, we decided to go forward and make them our partners in brand building. Droom has built a highly innovative platform to solve buyer and seller pain points in the automobiles business, and we are now ready to showcase this 21st century online experience to mass audiences."

Droom has, in a short span, grown rapidly and now boasts of Rs 500+ crore of listed GMV, with a presence in over 60 cities. The brand is also doubling its marketing efforts and will soon be out with an aggressive marketing campaign.

Founded in April 2014 in Silicon Valley, Droom has taken a completely innovative and disruptive approach to build trust and pricing advantages for buyers.

Droom announces Contract Advertising as creative agency and Publicis Groupe’s Equinox as media buying agency

The online marketplace for used and new automobiles Droom, is now doubling its marketing efforts after witnessing steep growth within a year

Droom is all set to launch is brand marketing campaign soon which will be spread across TV, print, outdoor and online formats. The mandate for creative duties was bagged by Contract Advertising on the basis of its credentials and the recent work put out by the agency. Contract will be taking care of creative duties across formats including TV, print and digital. Equinox will be responsible for media buying for the company.

Droom is an online marketplace for used and new automobiles and auto-related services and has taken a disruptive and innovative approach to building trust and pricing advantages for buyers.

On awarding of the creative and media buying mandates, Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder and CEO, Droom, said, "We were very impressed by the works that both agencies have done for new age companies and hence we decided to go forward and make them our partners in brand-building. Droom has built a highly innovative platform to solve buyer and seller pain points in buying and selling used automobiles and we are ready to showcase this 21st century online experience to mass audiences now."

Droom has, in a short span grown rapidly and now boasts of more than Rs 500 crore of listed GMV with a presence in over 60 cities. With its steep pace of growth, the brand is also doubling its marketing efforts and will soon be out with an aggressive marketing campaign.

Droom Extends Services In Mumbai, Nasik, Pune, And Thane

Droom, India's pioneering and only online automobile marketplace has marked its foray into Maharashtra by on-boarding more than 250 sellers in the state. The company has expanded to Mumbai, Pune, Nasik and Thane and has already hundreds of sellers from these areas. This will also allow users in these areas to avail other automobile related services like auto insurance, auto inspection, road side assistance, car care and rides on rent through Droom platform.

Droom is all set to launch is brand marketing campaign soon which will be spread across TV, print, outdoor and online formats. The mandate for creative duties was bagged by Contract Advertising on the basis of its credentials and the recent work put out by the agency. Contract will be taking care of creative duties across formats including TV, print and digital. Equinox will be responsible for media buying for the company.

Hailed as the economic capital of India, the Mumbai Metropolitan Area has more than2crore individuals currently residing in its districts and has one of the highest per capita vehicle availabilit in the country. With hundreds of sellers already active from Maharashtra, Droom will be looking to make most of the unparalleled business proposition the region offers and expand its service network to other parts of the state. Speaking on the announcement Co-founder & VP of Business Development at Droom Rishab Malik, said, "Our innovative and disruptive marketplace approach coupled with the advanced technology tools that we have built will empower sellers in the state to sell more automobiles

through Droom, simultaneously buyers will benefit from our data driven approach, pricing advantages and transparency.We strongly believe in building trust and mitigating information asymmetry so that buying and selling becomes a smoother process online."

Droom's entry into the state will providedealers in the region with an unparalleled opportunity to leverage its disruptive market approach to boost business. The brand has also tied up with various premium car dealers such as Excel Cars and organised pre-owned car dealers like CarKing already present in Mumbai to ensure high-quality service delivery.

Droom has recently announced its entry in Punjab market and with its expansion to Mumbai, Pune, Nasik and Thane the platform will now be present in close to 70 cities across the country. The company has also raised Rs 100 crores in July this year in Series A funding led by Lightbox.

Droom NDTV Prime - Chasing the Start Up Dream
Droom Awards Creative Mandate to Contract, Equinox Bags Media

Droom, an online marketplace for used and new automobiles and auto-related services, has named Contract Advertising and Publicis Groupe's Equinox as creative and media buying agencies respectively.

The company is all set to launch is brand marketing campaign soon which will be spread across TV, print, outdoor and online formats. The mandate for creative duties was bagged by Contract Advertising on the basis of its credentials and the recent work put out by the agency. Contract will be taking care of creative duties across formats including TV, print and digital. Equinox will be responsible for media buying for the company.

On awarding of the creative and media buying mandates, Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder and CEO, Droom, said," We were very impressed by the works of both agencies have done for new age companies and hence we decided to go forward and make them our partners in brand building. Droom has built a highly innovative platform to solve buyer and seller pain points in buying and selling used automobiles and we are ready to showcase this 21st century online experience to mass audiences now."

Founded in April 2014 in Silicon Valley, Droom claims to have grown rapidly and now boasts of Rs 500 + crore of listed GMV with a presence in over 60 cities. With its steep growth pace, the brand is also doubling its marketing efforts and will soon be out with a marketing campaign.

Droom appoints Contract Advertising as creative agency; Publicis Groupe’s Equinox as media buying agency

Droom, an online marketplace for used and new automobiles and auto-related services, has announced Contract Advertising as creative agency and Publicis Groupe’s Equinox as media buying agency.

The company is all set to launch is brand marketing campaign soon which will be spread across TV, print, outdoor and online formats. The mandate for creative duties was bagged by Contract Advertising on the basis of its credentials and the recent work put out by the agency. Contract will be taking care of creative duties across formats including TV, print and digital. Equinox will be responsible for media buying for the company.

On awarding of the creative and media buying mandates, Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder and CEO, Droom said," We were very impressed by the works of both agencies have done for new age companies and hence we decided to go forward and make them our partners in brand building. Droom has built a highly innovative platform to solve buyer and seller pain points in buying and selling used automobiles and we are ready to showcase this 21st century online experience to mass audiences now."

Droom boasts of Rs 500 + crore of listed GMV with a presence in over 60 cities. With its steep growth pace, the brand is also doubling its marketing efforts and will soon be out with an aggressive marketing campaign.

Droom awards creative biz to Contract, media biz to Equinox

Online marketplace for used and new automobiles and auto-related services, Droom, has roped in Contract Advertising as its creative agency. Additionally, the portal has also brought in Equinox as its media buying agency.

Speaking about this, Sandeep Aggarwal, founder and CEO, Droom said, "We were very impressed by the works of both agencies have done for new age companies and hence we decided to go forward and make them our partners in brand building. Droom has built a highly innovative platform to solve buyer and seller pain points in buying and selling used automobiles and we are ready to showcase this 21st century online experience to mass audiences now."

The company will launch its brand marketing campaign soon which will be spread across TV, print, outdoor and online formats.

Used is not a dirty word in start-up world

Industry estimates peg the value of refurbished phone market at around $ 1 billion

During last year's festive sale, Amazon, Shopclues and eBay unveiled a new category - refurbished phones. The category was not a big hit. But there were signs of promise: Demand was higher than expected. Big discounts on as-good-as-new phones impressed the value customers and they were pulled in.

Industry estimates peg the value of refurbished phone market at around $ 1 billion. "The mobile phones market is roughly valued at $15 billion. About one-two per cent of the phones, in our estimation, are returned within the first month. And another six-seven per cent is returned within the warranty period. This brings the market roughly to $1 billion," said Nitin Kochhar, assistant vice-president (categories), Shopclues. Most of these returned phones can be touched up and sold once again at deep discounts and that is where the market comes from. According to Kochhar, the market might reach up to $5 billion in three years.

Refurbished phones are just the tip of the iceberg, say experts. Such phones fall under shared economy, a concept that is being taken seriously by investors and entrepreneurs.

"India has always been clued in to the used market. We would give away our old TV to the maid or sell our laptops by weight," said Harish HV, partner, Grant Thornton. OLX and Quikr brought it into focus but listing wasn't enough. It needed to be interactive and that's what others brought to the party. And, it's not about electronics alone, but extends to homes, cars and clothes.

One of the biggest shared economy segments in the world is shared homes, primarily Airbnb. The company encourages people to let out their spare rooms or homes to travellers. It not only generates income but also helps the traveller get a first-hand experience of how life is in that city or country, creating a used case. A buzzword that exists in every venture capitalist's handbook.

"Indians are waking up to let their rooms out to fellow travellers," said Yogendra Vasupal, founder, Stayzilla. The Bengaluru-based company, a marketplace for hotel rooms, recently launched Social Stay, a format similar to Airbnb but with a marked difference. The company uses its special "matchmaking tool", which helps people find others from their own special interest. "One of the primary reasons we were not comfortable was we didn't know who would be living with us in our own homes. But if we can identify them from a community of interests and hobbies, we could open up to it," he added. The company, he said, has seen an upturn in adoption. The average ticket size for "alternative arrangements" is bigger as well. "People are keener on paying Rs 1,600 for a home stay arrangement than Rs 1,100 for a hotel room," he said. After starting last month, the company already has 13,000 rooms listed on its platform.

Stayzilla has been popular with investors as well and has raised over $20 million from Nexus and Matrix Partners over the last year.

The growing wave of shared economy adoption reached the shores of India with transport sharing.

BlaBlaCar has been European backpacker's ride sharing service of choice. The company came to India in January and since then it has been on an upward trajectory. It currently boasts of 17 million km driven through its service.

"We have tied up with IRCTC to encourage users to book BlaBlaCar if their tickets are waitlisted. We also run campaigns on radio to encourage drivers to sign up for BlaBlaCar. As a result, almost 350,000 seats have been shared in over 700 cities," said Raghav Gupta, country manager, BlaBlaCar.

The French ride-sharing company, internationally, raised $200 million recently and is valued at $1.5 billion.

Its local rival, Ola, too, has been riding on the ride-sharing wave. The company declared that it had raised $225 million in September, not too long before announcing its car-pooling, Share, and bus aggregation services, Shuttle. Ola plans to run pilot projects in Gurgaon and Bengaluru to perfect Shuttle before introducing it to other cities. Share was launched in October with the pilot in Bengaluru. Share uses an algorithm to match riders and their destinations with shared cabs.

Venture capitalists argue that used cars, too, should be considered part of the shared universe.

"Currently, Droom has an annual GMV of Rs 200 crore and we expect to reach Rs 600 crore by the end of the year. The used vehicle universe is definitely on the rise. Just the used vehicles market, online and offline, is worth $60 billion," said Sandeep Aggarwal, founder and CEO, Droom. Aggarwal explained that as the buying power increases, so will the churn of vehicles. "Even the average ownership time is dropping. Our research shows that for every one new car bought, 1.2 used cars are sold," he added. He expects that four per cent of all households to own a car (used or new) and 24 per cent to have two wheelers.

"We raise the shared economy to even planes. We are a marketplace where one can rent airplanes, which stay idle 80 per cent of the time," he said. The company has so far raised $16 million from Lightbox Ventures and Japanese internet firm Beenos.

Renting tuxedos for graduations and weddings doesn't raise too many eyebrows but used clothing doesn't inspire too much confidence in the Indian mindset. VCs believe that is now set to change.

There are now several bootstrapped companies that have popped up in Mumbai alone that allow users to rent clothes. The Style Door, SwishList, Devil's Closet and Luxemi are some examples. Currently, the average ticket size of about Rs 3,000, is an encouragement to investors but it might still be at the crux of the next big wave.

This is just the beginning, analysts said, and the market will see an explosion of shared goods and services in five years.

Droom - Zee Business
Droom eyes Rs 600-cr GMV by March 2016

Droom, an online marketplace for automobiles, expects its gross merchandise value (GMV) to more than double to Rs 600 crore by the end of this fiscal as it plans on expanding into newer product categories and services.

The Lightbox-backed firm offers a marketplace to sell cars and motorcycles, superbikes and premium cars as well as planes.

The Lightbox-backed firm offers a marketplace to sell cars and motorcycles, superbikes and premium cars as well as planes.

"Currently, we are clocking an annualised GMV of Rs 200 crore and we are confident of this growing to Rs 600 crore by March-end (2016)... We have seen a strong traction on both the product and services side," Droom founder and CEO Sandeep Aggarwal told PTI.

He added the company is also looking at expanding into newer product categories and extending the services available through its platform.

GMV is a term used in online retailing to indicate the gross merchandise value of the products sold through the marketplace over a certain period of time.

"We have services like auto inspection, car care and detailing and roadside assistance and we will soon introduce auto loans. We want to be the enabling platform to help people buy and maintain anything with wheels," he said.

Founded in April 2014 in Silicon Valley, Droom raised Rs 100 crore funding in Series A, led by Lightbox. The first round of funding for Droom was led by BEENOS.

Aggarwal had earlier founded e-commerce firm ShopClues.

Droom has about 100 employees and will expand its team to 160 people by March next year, hiring primarily to further strengthen its technology platform.

"The current experience of buying and selling an automobile is completely broken, antiquated and full of pitfalls. With our technology-driven marketplace approach, we want to bring in transparency, build trust and mitigate information asymmetry," he said.

Droom casts net wide to drum up business

To cash on the high internet penetration in some of the developed markets overseas, home-grown online platform Droom, which deals in the sale and purchase of second-hand cars...

Due to high purchase value with lower volumes, Droom takes an upfront fee of 2% from interested buyers. However, if the buyer doesn’t like the used car after seeing it for real, the money is refunded within 72 hours.

To cash on the high internet penetration in some of the developed markets overseas, home-grown online platform Droom, which deals in the sale and purchase of second-hand cars, will set up base in countries like Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand by mid-2016.

The online platform started in January by Shopclues founder Sandeep Aggarwal prides itself in being the only platform that doesn’t work as a listing platform like other websites in this space but actually enables transaction. It competes with pre-owned car sellers like Mahindra’s First Choice and Maruti Suzuki’s True Value, which sell both offline and online.

Explaining the rationale for foraying into the overseas market, Aggarwal told FE, "There is not a single large online used car buying platform which is global in nature. The six countries put together is one-fifth of India’s used car market, but the internet penetration in them is much higher." Analysts said that the conversion rate on high-value purchase items are lesser in India but is expected to be much higher in international markets.

India has an internet penetration of 12%, while Singapore has 98%, Thailand 78% and Malaysia 66%.

Due to high purchase value with lower volumes, Droom takes an upfront fee of 2% from interested buyers. However, if the buyer doesn’t like the used car after seeing it for real, the money is refunded within 72 hours.

To enter these high-potential markets, Aggarwal has put together a team of 12 people in areas of technology, product management, marketing and business development. A large part of the $20 million Droom raised a few months ago will go into the expansion in these markets.

The company will not have big teams in these countries — just four or five people will be based there — as everything from technology to back-end support will be handled from India. "We will create an Airbnb -and an Uber-like lean model. The launch team will be small and that is how we will expand," said Aggarwal.

Each country will have a separate payment gateway, tax structure, privacy policy, language options and cataloguing.

It’s not that the ride will be smooth for Droom in these markets as in each market there’s local competition. For instance, Malaysia has 11 car marketplaces, Indonesia has 7, Thailand 13, Singapore 4, Philippines 9 and Vietnam a whopping 22.

The company doesn’t see international business overtaking its India business anytime soon. By the end of 2016, revenue from international operations will be 15% of its overall revenue.

Currently, at Rs 20 crore a month and 1,000 transactions a month, Droom’s gross merchandise value (GMV) on an annualised basis is Rs 240 crore. Droom makes 1.5% to 2% of the GMV.

A cake-smashing session to create team bonding? Meet Droom's founder Sandeep Aggarwal

Google and Facebook a retough acts to match when it comes to creating fun and innovative activities for employees. But Droom, a Gurgaon-based startup, is not far behind. Recently, the company, an online marketplace for used automobiles, organised a cake-smashing session for its 80 member team. Some 250 pastries and 50 cakes were hurled between employees, bosses included.

Droom's founder Sandeep Aggarwal.

For Droom's founder Sandeep Aggarwal, formerly the co-founder of Shopclues, the exercise achieved two goals. It brought the team closer. And it enabled him to overcome his paranoia about physical contact with people.

"Only twice has some one put cake on my face," Aggarwal says. "I always felt it as encroachment of privacy. Even when I am getting out of a plane, if the person behind me is standing close or pushing me, I get very uncomfortable."

Aggarwal admits that it took him time to realise that in India, on birthdays, if people don't rub cake on your face, the perception is that you don't have good friends.

The cake war comprised 20 teams of four people each.It cost Rs 20,000, with the expense for each member coming to Rs 250.

Aggarwal recalls that when he first discussed the idea with his co-founder Rishab Malik and HR head Babita Viashnawa, they treated it as a joke. "Lot of people couldn't believe we were doing this," Aggarwal says. "Then they couldn't believe that it was to happen right where we work and not in some designated place. Once we announced the cross-functional teams, it was fascinating see ing how they strategised. For instance, one team made gowns and head covers out of garbage bags to protect themselves."

Aggarwal's team bore the brunt of the assault as they were the most exposed. "I was one of the obvious targets and got hit a lot," he says.

After one-and-a-half hours of flinging cake, it was time to clean up. "The place was completely trashed," Aggarwal says. "We cleaned up ourselves."

BEFORE:

A cake-smashing session to create team bonding? Meet Droom's founder Sandeep Aggarwal

AFTER:

A cake-smashing session to create team bonding? Meet Droom's founder Sandeep Aggarwal

According to Aggarwal, people were in office till 11 pm. "It created so much bonding. Some of my team members got emotional and said this was one of the top 10 unique experiences of their professional lives so far."

Early influences

Aggarwal is no stranger to team activities. He recounts two that left an imprint on him. The first was while pursuing an M BA from Washington University, St Louis, in the US.

"The first week they didn't teach us anything," Aggarwal says. "They rented the main park and made us do different tasks together, like a treasure hunt, endurance exercises, etc. It allowed us to know each other in a way we would not have in a normal course."

The other exercise was during his stint with Microsoft. "In Seattle, I did two activities that helped me build lifetime relationships with my team members," Aggarwal says. "Seattle is famous for watching orca whales. So, my department of 60-70 people, we rented a big yacht and spent a day whale watching.We also had lunch at a private island. The other activity was cooking up a dish as a team along with a chef at a culinary institute."

Finally, Aggarwal credits his time working at Silicon Valley, which gave him insight into why these things were important. "We have zero attrition till now. But retaining talent has never been more difficult," he reasons. Importantly, Aggarwal says, Droom's investor, Lightbox, was happy about the cake smashing plan and has encouraged other companies in its portfolio to do something similar.

Aggarwal enjoyed another benefit from the session. Among his sons and their friends, Droom is a hit. "I told my kids about the activity and even asked them to join. They did not join but they shared this with all of their friends and now everyone in my kids' school thinks that Droom is the coolest company in India.Many even told me, `Sandeep uncle, my dad works i n a very boring company.'"

Business leaders who have got it right

Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google have done team building tirelessly, says Aggarwal."They come to office on roller blades. They do lots of activities during Christmas. Even Mark Zuckerberg has done this immensely well. And how they have built pixel by pixel, byte by byte the culture of their company.... The world has produced a lot of great CEOs, but if you are a founder of a company, you also bring your personality and energy. And those are contagious."

Waste of cake, but not time

"Well, if you bring the wast age parameter, I think there is no justification other than accepting that it was a food wastage. But we feel it was offset by healthier minds and bodies. People felt more motivated," he says. He explains that as part of CSR, they do several things, for example, donating a few dozen plants to a blind institute close to Droom's office. "But this budget was allocated for a fun activity and we decided to view it as a fun activity only. Let's just say that instead of eating cake and pastries that we do very of ten as it is, we decided to have a cake fight."

Droom launches C2B marketplace QuickSell

Gurgaon-based Droom has launched C2B (consumer to business) marketplace format, called QuickSell, which will enable consumers to sell their used vehicles to auto dealers with a quick turnaround of the transaction. The sellers can upload a quick listing of their vehicles, receive offers from interesting buyers and accept the most feasible option to sell it online. With this new marketplace format, the platform now offers C2C, B2C and C2B format.

Image Credit: ShutterStock
Image Credit: ShutterStock

"Nearly 25 percent of the used vehicles sold in India are transitionary sales where a consumer decides to sell to an auto dealer for convenience, distress or emergency. With announcing QuickSell we are taking our services to the next level and emerging as a one stop solution provider. Being India’s first C2B marketplace, QuickSell will intelligently support the consumers and guide through the transactions," says Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder and CEO, Droom.

How it works

Customers can activate their QuickSell listing by paying a flat fee of Rs 199 and then upload details such as model, year, trim/ variant, location, intended period to sell, a short description and photographs of the vehicle.

The platform’s pricing engine will also give pricing suggestions to the customers based on the details input. Once activated by a customer, the listing will be visible to all used car dealers in the platform’s network. These dealers, called pro-sellers, can then give a quotation to the customer, who can choose to either accept or reject the request based on the feasibility. Once a bid is accepted, the dealer would have to make a guarantee payment to confirm the transaction, which would then close the offer to any other dealer.

Sandeep adds that QuickSell ensures that sellers looking to dispose off their automobiles in a hurry get an adequate recompense for their vehicles while also delivering an efficient resolution to their selling requirements. It is his earnest endeavour to provide utmost convenience to our existing and prospective consumers.

Founded in April 2014 in Silicon Valley, Droom claims that the platform has more than 11, 000 B2C sellers, 16, 000+ products, 6000+ listings and over USD 100 million in listed GMV.

In July this year, it raised $16 million (Rs 100 crore) Series A funding led by Lightbox. The first round of funding for Droom was led by BEENOS. The 95 member team of Droom is distributed between the offices in Gurgaon(India) and Silicon Valley (USA). It’s a mobile-first marketplace with a presence on three platforms — Android, iOS and desktop.

The automobile market in India is worth USD 125 billion which makes it the third largest industry in the world. There’s an increasing demand for used cars spanning two wheelers to luxury cars. According to consultancy and market research firm Frost & Sullivan — last year close to 2.5 million new cars were sold in India while used cars amassed three million sales during the same period.

A joyride all the way…

With Droom celebration takes wings.

The other day I took a flight. Nothing unusual about that. But, if I say I went from New Delhi to New Delhi with no stoppages it becomes a bit unusual. Though, I wasn’t astonished. Not in the least bemused. No anger, no abuses. Things would have been different if it were a normal passenger aircraft. Instead, here I got down smiling and happy. It was a joyride in the Bombardier Challenger RJ100 private jet.

Bombardier Challenger
Bombardier Challenger

From entering through the VIP security check to boarding it was all made to feel special. And, indeed I felt likewise. Many of my friends commented, "So much for being a journalist?" Well, not really. For, this could just be for you too, I replied.

Thanks to Droom India, which recently launched its aerial vehicles and fun rides segment, all you need to do is to hire a plane and for an hour or two you could just live the royal way. In the air, I was informed this plane was bought from the Sultan of Brunei. And, so royally engaged I was that I paid not much heed. The 18-seater jet was high on luxury and comfort with cushiony couches and LED screens. And to top it, we were served with the choicest of dishes in our meal.

Enjoying the high flier ride I sat next to the Founder & CEO of Droom Sandeep Aggarwal as he briefed me about his organisation. "We started out from Silicon Valley in April 2014. Droom is India’s first online marketplace to buy and sell new and used automobiles and automobile services," he mentioned. "I had first started shopclues.com. We witnessed huge growth and I knew I could do so much more in the online market space. So, I started with sidestepping from shopclues.com though I still am the largest single shareholder of the company and then I came up with Droom," he informed before dishing out several numbers and figures getting into the details of 16 automobile categories, over 1,000 sellers and over 6,000 listings. Clearly, the man knew his data and numbers right. And he was quick to bring it forth. Though, I was quicker to steer our conversation back to the jet.

Yes! The press conference in the air. That was to listen to. But wait! In came the announcement from Captain Rana piloting the plane. And, in response, we all looked down at the scenic hilly tracts of Himachal Pradesh.

Moving around in the aircraft I took seat in almost all the three compartments. And they were all differently put up. Clearly, meant for all occasions. So if you are planning a birthday bash, celebrating your 50 wedding anniversary, or signing a corporate deal it shall take care of you in style.

And, just as I was shuffling around onboard I made a note of how Droom, which is a mix of Vroom and dream, is excited to offer customers anything from a bicycle to a plane.

All that said, Aggarwal promised to expand. And, so the high flier event came to an end. With hope of much more elite services. Just stay tuned as Droom sets you on roll.

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Now rent a chopper for your weekend escape!

Forget your car or cab, why not get away from the city for the weekend on a chopper?

If you ever dreamt of proposing to your beloved on an airplane or having a party during a chopper ride across town, automobile startup Droom, in partnership with JetSetGo, is taking strides in making that possible. You can also take a chopper for your weekend escape.

Hire a helicopter, no less, for your next weekend break! Photo: Daily Mumble
Hire a helicopter, no less, for your next weekend break! Photo: Daily Mumble

Droom, an online marketplace to buy and sell new and used automobiles, will now foray into the aerial vehicle segment and will give its users a chance to buy or sell aerial vehicles such as private planes and choppers from its online portal.

Additionally, Droom is also foraying into the fun rides and experiences category for rental and chartering of private planes and choppers.

"At Droom, we have always endeavoured to provide our consumers with the widest selection and choicest of offerings in the automobile segment. We endeavour to offer a truly holistic and trustworthy experience to our buyers as well as sellers," Sandeep Aggarwal, founder and CEO, Droom, said in a statement.

"By partnering with JetSetGo and adding this new category into our list of product offerings, we are poised to leverage the growing spending power of the Indian consumers to provide them with need-based private aviation solutions," Aggarwal said.

The collaboration is likely to "revolutionise the transportation space", according to Kanika Tekriwal, co-founder and CEO, JetSetGo.

Droom is looking to further expand its operations to add 20 automobile and 12 service categories hosting over 50,000 sellers and 200,000 listings in the next 18 to 24 months.

Droom's latest round of funding, led by Lightbox, will be used to expand categories as well as geographies.

Droom Partners With Jet Booking Startup JetSetGo To Allow You To Buy/Rent An Heli Or A Plane

Droom, the online automobile marketplace which lets you buy new super-luxurious cars online, has partnered with another luxury service provider JetSetGo, giving its users a chance to buy or sell aerial vehicles such as private planes and choppers from its online portal.

Droom Partners With Jet Booking Startup JetSetGo To Allow You To Buy/Rent An Heli Or A Plane

By using JetSetGo’s resources, you can buy and sell everything on wheels, right from bicycles to planes on Droom. The company is also expanding and pushing its limits by foraying into the fun rides & experiences category for rental and chartering of private planes and choppers.

As of now, the luxury trips are being offered at Pune, New Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Bangalore locations and the pricing starts from Rs. 1,56,000. It’s experience offerings include birthday parties for children and adults, air culinary, etc. So yeah, you need really a lot of money just lying around of no use to be able to take these services.

The company claims that it is currently the largest online automobile marketplace in India. It has 14 different automobile categories including auto services, with over 10,000 sellers and more than 6,000 listings.

Founded in April 2014 in Silicon Valley, Droom is claimed to be amongst the fastest growing consumer Internet companies in India with more than 9,000 B2C sellers, over 15,000 products, more than 6,000 listings, and over 500k+ downloads for mobile app.

It recently came into news, when a partnership with Uber in Delhi resulted in riders getting to ride in super luxurious cars like Hammer, Lamborghini etc.

Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder & CEO, Droom, commented,

At Droom, we have always endeavored to provide our consumers with the widest selection and choicest of offerings in the automobile segment. We endeavor to offer a truly holistic and trustworthy experience to our buyers as well as sellers. By partnering with JetSetGo and adding this new category into our list of product offerings, we are poised to leverage the growing spending power of the Indian consumers to provide them with need-based private aviation solutions.

Kanika Tekriwal, Co-founder and CEO, JetSetGo, added,

Droom with its disruptive marketplace approach, is one of the most influential players in the Indian automobile market. What I personally love about Droom is that it caters to every segment of society, be it a scooter or a skoda or a lamborgini – Droom is the right way to droooom. What better partnership to have than by two of India’s pioneers in their respective fields. I am confident that the two company’s together will revolutionize the transportation space.

JetSetGo, founded by Kanika Tekriwal and Sudheer Perla in 2013, recently raised an undisclosed amount of sum in its seed funding round from Yuvraj Singh’s YouWeCan Ventures.

Droom on the othe hand, received a much larger $16 million in funding, led by Lightbox Ventures, with participation of Beenos Partners. In the coming 18 to 24 months, Droom is looking to further expand its operations by adding 20 automobile and 12 service categories hosting over 50,000 sellers and 200,000 listings.

Droom Lets Users Buy, Rent, and Sell Private Planes, Helicopters Online

Droom, an online marketplace for automobiles, will now let its users buy or sell private planes and choppers on its platform.

Droom, an online marketplace for automobiles, will now let its users buy or sell private planes and choppers on its platform.

Droom Lets Users Buy, Rent, and Sell Private Planes, Helicopters Online
Backed by venture investors like Lightbox and BEENOS, Droom plans to expand its operations to add 20 automobile and 12 service categories hosting over 50,000 sellers and two lakh listings in the next 18-24 months. (Source: Droom)

Droom on Monday said it would partner with Delhi-based JetSetGo (online marketplace for booking private jets, helicopters and air ambulances) to add aircraft to its buy/sell category.

Droom’s platform will also be available for rental and chartering of private planes and choppers, it said in a statement.

The largest online automobile marketplace in India at present, Droom has product offerings in 14 different automobile categories, including auto services, over 10,000 sellers and more than 6,000 listings.

"The addition of the aerial vehicle segment gives the company the opportunity to tap into the ever-expanding private aviation segments by utilising JetSetGo’s resources," it said.

Sandeep Aggarwal, founder and CEO of Droom, said with the introduction of the new category, users can now can buy and sell everything on wheels, right from bicycles to planes.

"At Droom, we have always endeavoured to provide our consumers with the widest selection in the automobile segment. By partnering with JetSetGo and adding this new category into our list of product offerings, we are poised to leverage the growing spending power of the Indian consumers to provide them with need-based private aviation solutions," he added.

Backed by venture investors like Lightbox and BEENOS, Droom plans to expand its operations to add 20 automobile and 12 service categories hosting over 50,000 sellers and two lakh listings in the next 18-24 months.

Now, you can buy or rent a plane or chopper online

Automobile marketplace Droom joins hands with JetSetGo to offer services.

Now pop that champagne or propose to your sweetheart hovering over the city in a chopper, or while jet setting across the seas in a private jet.

Now, you can buy or rent a plane or chopper online

A joint initiative by automobile marketplace Droom and JetSetGo, a marketplace for private jets, has made it possible to buy or rent aircraft online.

Foraying into the aerial vehicle segment, Droom is offering users a chance to buy or sell aerial vehicles such as private planes and choppers from its online portal.

Mobile app

Additionally, users can also download a mobile app to avail these services.

"We believe India is among the top 10 countries when it comes to demand from the aviation sector, and we believe the country will move up to at least fifth position in renting or owning soon. We intend to be an early mover and tap this growing segment," Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Droom, told BusinessLine.

The company’s portal for aeroplane buying and renting was launched today and has listed an Embraer Legacy 600 business jet listed at ₹64.5 crore and a Hawker 900XP corporate jet at ₹45.9 crore for sale. The company, which started as an automobile marketplace in January this year, is offering planes with 9-14 seats and choppers with 4-8 seats.

For every aircraft leased or sold, Droom will get a commission, Aggarwal said. Droom, which at present has more than 10,000 automobile sellers and over 6,000 listings, is also looking to venture into water transportation.

"We will introduce jet skis, speedboats and other modes of water transportation by the first quarter of calendar 2016. Additionally, Droom is also foraying into the fun rides," he added.

In July, Droom, run by Droom Technology, had raised ₹100 crore in fresh funds led by venture capital firm Lightbox.

Droom Lets Users Buy, Rent, and Sell Private Planes, Helicopters Online

Droom, an online marketplace for automobiles, will now let its users buy or sell private planes and choppers on its platform.

Droom's platform will also be available for rental and chartering of private planes and choppers, it said in a statement.

Droom Lets Users Buy, Rent, and Sell Private Planes, Helicopters Online

Claiming to be the largest online automobile marketplace in India at present, Droom has product offerings in 14 different automobile categories, including auto services, over 10,000 sellers and more than 6,000 listings.

"The addition of the aerial vehicle segment gives the company the opportunity to tap into the ever-expanding private aviation segments by utilising JetSetGo's resources," it said.

Sandeep Aggarwal, founder and CEO of Droom, said with the introduction of the new category, users can now can buy and sell everything on wheels, right from bicycles to planes.

"At Droom, we have always endeavoured to provide our consumers with the widest selection in the automobile segment. By partnering with JetSetGo and adding this new category into our list of product offerings, we are poised to leverage the growing spending power of the Indian consumers to provide them with need-based private aviation solutions," he added.

Backed by venture investors like Lightbox and BEENOS, Droom plans to expand its operations to add 20 automobile and 12 service categories hosting over 50,000 sellers and 200,000 listings in the next 18-24 months.

Droom collaborates with AXA Assistance to offer auxiliary services to its customers

This collaboration with AXA Assistance India increases the bandwidth of our product offerings and aids us in providing more tech-driven automotive solutions for our consumers, Founder and CEO, Droom.

Droom collaborates with AXA Assistance to offer auxiliary services to its customers

NEW DELHI: Online automobile marketplace Droom has entered into a strategic partnership with AXA Assistance India, to offer Road side assistance services to passenger segment vehicles, the company said in a press statement.

The collaboration will allow Droom to provide pan-India auxiliary coverage to its consumer as well as leverage AXA Assistance's comprehensive third party provider network in India .

Speaking on the announcement, Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder & CEO, Droom, commented, "This collaboration with AXA Assistance India increases the bandwidth of our product offerings and aids us in providing more tech-driven automotive solutions for our consumers. We wish to include more services to expand our network and to make our platform the one stop shop for all automobile needs."

Rachna Sethi, CEO, AXA Assistance India, added, "Specialising in pre-owned cars and luxury automobiles, Droom has truly revolutionized the automobile market in India with their innovative tech-powered online automobile solutions. We are proud to be associated with a pioneer in the industry and are confident that this partnership will benefit the Indian automobile community."

Automobile market has potential but suffers from Inefficiencies - Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder, Droom

Sandeep Aggarwal, CEO & Founder of Droom, an online marketplace for automobiles, speaks to ETAuto about this new venture. He shares his views about what ails the used vehicle market, and what the company is doing differently to tap this ever-growing segment.

Droom: A second-hand car portal with a twist

This is a platform to buy and sell second-hand cars with a fresh perspective. Droom, started by Shopclues founder Sandeep Aggarwal..

This is a platform to buy and sell second-hand cars with a fresh perspective. Droom, started by Shopclues founder Sandeep Aggarwal, prides itself in being the only platform that doesn’t work as a listing platform, like other websites in this space. "Unlike others, Droom is the only website that enables transactions between buyers and sellers," Aggarwal tells FE.

shopclues
This is a platform to buy and sell second-hand cars with a fresh perspective. Droom, started by Shopclues founder Sandeep Aggarwal.

Another aspect where it scores is: It promises to refund the registration amount if the deal does not materialise.
Aggarwal says the platform offers sellers three ways to sell their vehicle — fixed price, best offer and auction. The buyer has to pay Rs 2,000 as locking fee, after which the listed vehicle is taken off the site. The buyer gets the right to contact the seller, check the car and close the deal within five days. Also, at the time of final payment, the locking fee gets adjusted and if the deal falls through, it is refunded.

From September, Droom will also offer auto insurance and auto loans, as well as roadside assistance and annual maintenance contract. It also plans to get into selling brand new cars by next month.

"We have a capital light model. We expect to be a fully profitable company by 2016," Aggarwal says.

The company’s annualised gross revenue is around Rs 120-150 crore and it has 6,000 plus listings by roughly 850 sellers.

Droom has a tie up with Mahindra First Choice for automobile services and AXA for insurance services. Mahindra First Choice conducts inspection of vehicles before they are listed on the website.

"The second-hand car market in India is 1.5 times the virgin car market. At a time when customers are becoming increasingly tech savvy, OEMs are expected to tie with these e-commerce websites to sell used cars, as it is economical. The culture of buying first-hand cars through these websites is not prevalent in India, but with the spread of the internet, customers can check out a car in brick-and-motor dealerships and order from an e-commerce website. In that case, OEMs will have to decide how much discounts they will offer to these websites vis-a-vis their dealers," says Rajiv Singh, partner, KPMG.

After finishing two rounds of funding and raising Rs 50 crore so far, the company recently received funding worth Rs 100 crore from Lightbox Ventures.

The money will be used for expansion in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam and subsequently in western Europe and the US. Most of the capital will be used to develop technology for the platform and expanding internationally. Droom will start expansion of its operations after Diwali.

When asked about the kind of discounts it offers, Aggarwal explains: "Discount is one of the marketing strategies, we don’t do any TV commercials. Discounting as a percentage of gross merchandise value (GMV) is less than 5% for us. Marketing spends as percentage of GMV is below 10% in total."

Since the launch of the application and website in January, it has sold about 500-600 vehicles a month, of which 50% is car sales. On an average, Droom sells eight-10 cars and 10-11 motorcycles per day.

"The second-hand car market in India is very unorganised and is expected to grow substantially in the future. I don’t think it will be easy to make money for these websites as dealers get less than 5% share in a transaction. Most of them make money through other services like repairing. These players need to wait for five-six years before they can develop a sustainable business model. I think it would be tough to generate profits by 2016-17," feels Abdul Majeed, partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Sandeep Aggarwal Founder and CEO of droom.in

"Do not give up. Entrepreneurism is a real test of conviction, resilience, perseverance, hard work and adaptation! Follow your dreams and obsessions!"

Sandeep has engrossed several roles in his career, which consist of a serial entrepreneur, philanthropist and internet visionary. But he is better known as the founder of Shopclues and Droom. He has 17 years of global experience in business operations, strategy and investment, focusing on Internet and technology. He is counted amongst leading Internet experts globally and has regularly appeared on several prominent media outlets. It is often considered to be a visionary and go-getter. His earlier work as internet analyst gave him the needed leverage to become one of the pioneers of digital revolution.

FeaturedImage

His latest venture Droom, is India’s first online marketplace to buy and sell new and used automobiles and automobile services. Droom has taken a completely innovative and disruptive approach to building trust and pricing advantages. Prior to founding Shopclues and Droom, he was provided research coverage on Google, Yahoo!, eBay, Amazon, Microsoft etc. as an Internet analyst. He has an MBA from Washington University in St. Louise, USA. He is also a chartered member of TiE Silicon Valley and holds one US patent.

Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service:

"Founded in April 2014 in Silicon Valley, Droom is India’s first online marketplace to buy and sell new and used automobiles and automobile services. Droom has taken a completely innovative and disruptive approach to building trust and pricing advantages for buyers.

The current experience of buying and selling an automobile is completely broken, antiquated and full of pitfalls. Droom offers a truly 21stcentury experience in buying and selling automobiles. With its technology-driven marketplace approach, Droom enables transactions between buyers and sellers by bringing transparency, building trust and mitigating information asymmetry. Droom is a mobile-first marketplace with a presence on three platforms i.e. Android, iOS and Desktop.

Droom is amongst the fastest growing consumer Internet companies in India with 9k+ B2C sellers, 15k+ products, 6k+ listings, $85mil.+ in listed GMV, 700k+ FB Community members (highest for any automobile community in India) and over 500k+ downloads for mobile apps.

Droom is funded by some of the leading global venture investors and has a very strong and proven founding team with 75 years of combined experience in technology, Internet, E-Commerce and FMCG including 35 years in Silicon Valley. Droom has a team of 85+ in its offices in Gurgaon (India) and Silicon Valley (USA)."

What inspired you to build the above product/ service? Need Specific Inputs

Sandeep Aggarwal is a serial entrepreneur, philanthropist and Internet visionary. Prior to Droom, Sandeep founded ShopClues.com, India’s first and largest managed marketplace in his house in Silicon Valley in late 2010 and in August 2011 moved to India and led a team of three other team members to launch ShopClues. He has 17 years of global experience in business operations, strategy and investment, focusing on Internet and technology.

What is your life mantra?

Work hard and play hard.

What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?

In July 2013, during a family vacation in USA, I found myself in a middle of legal charges against me for my role as a Wall Street analyst 6 years back. This was a very big crisis and I had to think about basic level of survival and as big crisis a human being can face without dying.

How did you overcome those challenges?

I had to stay away from my family for more than a year and had to relinquish any formal role from ShopClues, the company founded with utmost level of passion an obsession. This was not easy on any front. I had to develop lots of mental, physical and spiritual strength to deal with my personal crisis. I focused on survival, stabilization and get back to normal strategy for ShopClues and my family. It worked and while family still has lots of deep scars, ShopClues – rather than closing down, it is a $1.5 bn company today.

Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.

We have raised closed to $20 million and the first round was done by the very same investors who were the first investors in ShopClues (the first company I founded).

How do you protect yourself from the problem of brain drain? Tell us about your company’s attrition control practices.

We have built very strong core values, competencies and work environment. So droom is like a cult. When we hire people, more than skills we look for droom core values and competencies. Those are the common thread. Due to these, people love working with us and give their best. Some of these core values include – high energy, passion, taking ownership, staying positive, being customer centric etc. We have very low attrition due to the great silicon valley style culture that we have.

According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?

  1. Resilience
  2. Be ready to fail
  3. Do not take no for an answer

Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?

Notes in iPhone and voice recorder

These two helps me to document all of my ideas.

Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.

Constantly organizing yourself, taking notes for everything and communicating pro-actively.

Share any one habit which you wish to change in yourself.

Have more patience.

Answer in less than 50 words

One tip to success:

Do not give up. Entrepreneurism is a real test of conviction, resilience, perseverance, hard work and adaptation! Follow your dreams and obsessions!

One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:

Not be fully honest to oneself as an entrepreneur.

One most important lesson that you have learnt till now:

Always see glass half full vs. half empty and things will work out.

What are your plans for next 3 years?

I want to build droom’s as the most innovative and disruptive marketplace for automobiles on earth. I want to see ShopClues going public, and I want to invest in nearly 12-18 start-ups in net 3 years.

If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?

I would not do it differently. I have no regrets how I shaped up my career and how I started my entrepreneurial journey.

What are your top three getaway destinations?

  1. Maldives
  2. Goa
  3. Bahamas

Share a quote that inspires you the most.

Fortune follows the brave.

Droom launches flash sale 'Bike Mela'

Prices averaged around Rs 30,000 - Rs 36,000 for scooters and around 64000 for motorcycles in the Mela.

Bajaj Pulsar 2012, Hero Passion Pro and Honda Activa seemed to be the most popular amongst auto enthusiasts, with Pulsar topping the charts at 12 sales.

Droom, pioneer and only online transactional automobile marketplace in India, hosted a flash sale 'Bike Mela' on Thursday. Offering several popular bike makes and models such as Bajaj Pulsar, Honda Active, Hero Passion, Hero Splendor, and Yamaha FZ, Droom's Bike Mela was a big hit with78 bikes sold within seven hours.

Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder & CEO of Droom said, "We have conducted two Bike Melas this month to an extremely positive response. With nearly 45 per cent of our aggregate business coming from bikes and the two-wheeler segment, we are looking to continue with this initiative to attract more buyers and sellers to our selection-based, pricing-led platform."

Riding high on its successful Rs 100 crore funding led by Lightbox and BEENOS, Droom plans to expand its product offering and service delivery platform to add to its already impressive inventory.

Bajaj Pulsar 2012, Hero Passion Pro and Honda Activa seemed to be the most popular amongst auto enthusiasts, with Pulsar topping the charts at 12 sales. Prices averaged around Rs 30,000 - Rs 36,000 for scooters and around 64000 for motorcycles in the Mela.

Aggarwal said, "With the latest Bike Mela, we have built upon the trust factor our disruptive mobile-first model offers within the Indian online automobile market and increased our service outlay."

Droom is India's most comprehensive automobile marketplace with a wide spectrum of automobiles including popular two-wheelers, bikes and Tata Nanos to Lamborghinis. Riding high on its successful Rs 100 crore funding led by Lightbox and BEENOS, Droom plans to expand its product offering and service delivery platform to add to its already impressive inventory.

8-month-old Indian automobile estore bags $15.6M to take on rivals

Droom, an eight-month-old marketplace for used and new vehicles in India, today announced that it secured US$15.6 million in a series A funding round led by Lightbox Ventures. The company previously raised undisclosed amount funding in seed funding from BEENOS.

The Droom team

From budget cars by Tata and Maruti to exotic Lamborghinis and super bikes, Droom has a wide range of vehicles for sale. It came up with a service called "Droom University" for auto dealers who are not internet savvy. The dealers can use the platform to learn how to sell online, including guidelines on bulk uploading, payment policies, and understanding the ecosystem in general. Droom has tied up with auto inspection companies Axa and Car Nation to verify vehicles on its site. It is partnering with Corporate Warranty for guarantees.

Droom has 9,400 sellers from 25 cities in India. So far, it claims to have completed 3,000 transactions.

"Droom’s product is built in a way that it can be customized for different countries. We will go to countries where we have language advantage and maintain a lean team of three people – catalog, business development, and marketing – before we scale in that market. The research and development wing will be headquartered in Gurgaon," Sandeep Aggarwal, founder and CEO of Droom, tells Tech in Asia.

Taking cues from ShopClues

droom screenshot

Earlier, Aggarwal founded ShopClues, one of India’s top ecommerce players, in November 2011. It was India’s first ecommerce marketplace. At that time, Indian ecommerce companies were inventory-led or operating on a Groupon-like model. Soon ecommerce became a crowded space with 35 other players, but Aggarwal managed to scale ShopClues and keep it in the top five.

But in 2013, he got entangled in an insider-trading case in the US. He pleaded guilty for passing non-public information and turned witness for the prosecution in the trial. The case is still ongoing, and a hearing is due in the next few months. Meanwhile, Aggarwal quit ShopClues.

"Shopclues has reached more than 100 million people. There aren’t that many examples of players who have touched so many globally," says Sid Talwar, Partner of Lightbox, who is an investor in ShopClues too. He adds that one of the main reasons why Lightbox invested in Droom is the founder’s ability to execute a marketplace.

Aggarwal was thinking of ways to use his insights from ShopClues, and he spotted a US$125 billion opportunity in the automobile space. "There is a lot of inefficiency in the market. The automobile industry in India looks like how ecommerce did in 2005," says Aggarwal.

Currently, India’s online automobile space is dominated by heavily-funded classifieds players like CarDekho and CarWale. However, in recent times, tech startups like GoZoomo and Truebil have also raised seed capital. GoZoomo, for example, is an entirely peer-to-peer player which focuses on solving the trust issue in the used cars market. It has a team of inspectors who check every vehicle on its site. Truebil also has auto engineers who take photographs and evaluate the cars before listing them on the site.

Android first, PC second

droom new

Given Aggarwal’s ShopClues experience, the marketplace model came naturally to him. But there were many "don’ts" that were applied to his current venture.

Aggarwal didn’t want to be in a business which requires fulfillment because logistics is a complex problem in India. And he wanted to be in a space that has at least 90 percent gross margin. Droom is a hyperlocal business where a buyer picks up the car after physical inspection, which negates the need to have logistical support. This also means that there aren’t any direct costs, except for the payment gateway, which leaves Droom with 98 percent gross margin. In spite of hefty overseas expansion plans, Aggarwal says the company will be profitable by next year.

Droom is mobile first. It was launched on Android first; a PC version came later. It is a peer-to-peer player, while also letting local sellers to sell on the platform. The pricing format at Droom includes fixed price by seller, offer price by buyer, or an auction, because most Indians love to negotiate.

Droom has also developed proprietary algorithms called "Orange Book Value." The pricing algorithms tell you the value of the vehicle based on make, model, year, and trend. GoZoomo too has a similar feature that cites a fair price for the vehicle, which buyers and sellers can use while negotiating.

Droom isn’t going to be all Indian. Aggarwal wants it to be the first Indian consumer internet company that’s truly global.

"By Q1 of 2016, we will launch in Southeast Asia. By mid 2016, we will go to western Europe, and by end of 2016, we will expand to the US," says Aggarwal.

The company’s core product development happened in Silicon Valley as "it is a home to bright engineering minds."

"The current buying traditions deliver an unsatisfactory and dubious experience devoid of regulations or a scientific approach especially when it comes to buying online," Aggarwal says.

The company charges two percent as commitment fees or token amount up front. In return, buyers get access to the sellers’ contact details, a test drive, document verification, and exclusive rights to seal the transaction.

Two-wheelers account for about 45 percent of transactions on Droom. Cars constitute another 40 percent. Trucks, jeeps, cycles, and services like repair of vehicles make up the rest. Bajaj Pulsar is the most widely sold vehicle on Droom. The costliest car sold on Droom is Toyota Land Cruiser Prado, worth US$178,000, and the most expensive bike sold was Suzuki Hayabusa, worth US$20,000.

Droom raises Rs 100 cr from Lightbox

Droom, an online marketplace for automobiles, today said it has raised Rs 100 crore funding in Series A led by Lightbox.

Launched in November last year by entrepreneur Sandeep Aggarwal, the company plans to utilise the funds for expanding operations to add 20 automobile and 12 service categories hosting over 50,000 sellers and two lakh listings in the next 18-24 months, Droom said in a statement.

It also plans to expand into Southeast Asia by early 2016, it added.

Droom operates in 13 different automobile categories including auto services with 1,000 sellers and 6,000 listings.

The first round of funding for Droom was led by BEENOS. Aggarwal had earlier founded ecommerce firm ShopClues.

"The automobile market in India is worth USD 125 billion making it the third largest industry in the world with a demand for used cars spanning two wheelers to luxury cars. The current buying traditions however deliver an unsatisfactory and dubious experience devoid of regulation or a scientific approach especially when it comes to buying online," he said.

He added that the investment from Lightbox and participation by all its existing major investors will allow it to aggregate the automobile industry at a scale.

Online automobile marketplace Droom raises Rs100 crore from Lightbox

Online marketplace for automobiles Droom, run by Droom Technology Pvt. Ltd, has raised Rs.100 crore in fresh funds led by venture capital firm Lightbox, the company said in a statement on Thursday.

Founded by serial entrepreneur Sandeep Aggarwal in 2014, Droom will use the money to expand its operations within the country and overseas.

Online automobile marketplace Droom raises Rs100 crore from Lightbox

Singapore-headquartered Droom plans to expand into Southeast Asia by early 2016.

Droom, which currently operates in 13 automobile categories including auto services with 1,000 sellers and 6,000 listings, plans to add 20 automobile and 12 service categories, hosting over 50,000 sellers and 200,000 listings in the next 18-24 months, the company said. It has seen over 3,000 transactions so far.

This is Aggarwal’s second venture after he founded online marketplace Shopclues in 2010.

"The automobile market in India is worth $125 billion, making it the third largest industry in the world with a demand for used cars spanning two wheelers to luxury cars. The current buying traditions however deliver an unsatisfactory and dubious experience devoid of regulation or a scientific approach, especially when it comes to buying online. Droom offers an unparalleled advantage for buyers on trust, pricing and selection. For our sellers, we provide low transaction cost, advanced online seller tools and scalable platforms. The recent investment from Lightbox and participation by all of our existing major investors allows us to aggregate the automobile industry at a scale which has not been achieved so far by anyone," Aggarwal said.

"Droom is finally disrupting an industry where user behaviour hasn’t changed since the advent of the Internet in the country," said Sid Talwar, partner, Lightbox.

Droom currently has a team of over 85 people in Gurgaon and Silicon Valley in the US.

Droom gets Rs. 100 cr from Lightbox Ventures

Online automobile marketplace Droom, which was launched in November last, has raised Rs. 100 crore in series A round led by Lightbox Ventures. It had raised an undisclosed amount from BEENOS in the seed round.

The nine-month-old startup, founded by Shopclues' founder Sandeep Aggarwal, plans to use the funds to expand outside India. It will first enter the South East Asian market by early next year. Besides, it will be expanding operations to add 20 automobile and 12 service categories hosting over 50,000 sellers and 200k listings in the next 18-24 months.

Droom is a disruptive mobile first marketplace for automobiles and is present in 13 different automobile categories, including auto services with 1,000 sellers and 6,000 listings. The app is available on Android, iOS and desktop and has already seen over 3,000 successful transactions.

Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder & CEO of Droom, said in a statement: "The automobile market in India is worth $125 billion making it the third largest industry in the world with demand for used cars spanning two-wheelers to luxury cars."

"The current buying traditions however deliver an unsatisfactory and dubious experience devoid of regulation or a scientific approach especially when it comes to buying online. Droom offers an unparalleled advantage for buyers on trust, pricing and selection. For our sellers, we provide low transaction cost, advanced online seller tools and scalable platforms,'' he said.

Sid Talwar, Partner, Lightbox, said, "Droom is finally disrupting an industry where user behaviour hasn’t changed since the advent of the internet in the country. The added bonus for us is that we have worked with Sandeep in the past, know what he’s capable of building, and so excited to be along for another ride!"

Automobile Marketplace Droom Raises Rs 100Cr from Lightbox and Japan’s Beenos

Online automobile marketplace Droom which was launched in November 2014 by Sandeep Aggarwal (Founder and Ex-CEO Shopclues), has raised Rs. 100 crore in a second round of funding from Lightbox Ventures and Japanese internet firm Beenos. The company plans to expand in to Southeast Asia, namely Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia by early 2016. Subsequently, it has plans to foray into Europe and US. The firm has raised around Rs 120 crore till now. Further, it is looking forward to introduce 9 automobile categories and 4 service categories related to automobiles.

Gurgaon-based company, Droom is an online marketplace for selling cars and bikes and it operates in 13 different automobile categories including auto services. The company’s sales was Rs. 13 crore in June. "We will end fiscal 2016 with Rs 250 crore in GMV and reach Rs 800-1,000 crore by end of FY17," said Aggarwal.

droom

The portal which has about 6,500 listings, charges an online fee of about 2 % for customers, with average selling price on the website pegged at Rs 2 lakh. It sells roughly 8-10 cars and 10 to 12 two wheelers per day. Droom has crossed more than half a million internet downloads. The company’s app is available for both Android and iOS users. It competes with companies like Carwale, Cardekho, OLX etc.

"India is the third largest automobile market in the world. So, we want to exploit this opportunity and utilize it for global expansion," added Sandeep.

Sandeep Aggarwal’s Droom Secures Rs 100 crores From Lightbox and Beenos

Sandeep Aggarwal (ex-Shopclues founder) has launched Droom, a marketplace to buy and sell used bikes/cars. The NCR based startup has raised funding from Lightbox and Beenos.

The first round of funding for Droom was led by Beenos, an investor in Shopclues as well.

As a disruptive mobile first marketplace for automobiles, Droom operates in 13 different automobile categories including auto services with 1000 sellers and 6,000 listings. The app is available on Android, iOS and desktop and has already seen over 3000 successful transactions. With the new investment, Droom will be expanding operations to add 20 automobile and 12 service categories hosting over 50,000 sellers and 200k listings in the next 18-24 months.

droom

"Droom is the largest series A bet we’ve ever made. And since it was such a big deal for us, I thought this was an ideal opportunity to walk you through how we decide to make investments in general.

A marketplace, by its very nature, would solve these issues. Running a marketplace is not easy. Globally, there are only a handful of companies that have been able to scale a marketplace successfully.

You have to create significant liquidity, especially for sup-ply, and then curate that liquidity effectively. But most importantly the entire platform needs to be built on trust. Building trust is key to marketplaces, because transactions carry risk. Luckily for us, we had an expert. I’m not sure we would have made the decision to invest otherwise." [Sandeep Talwar, Lightbox]

Droom gets Rs 100cr from Lightbox

Droom, an online marketplace for pre-owned automobiles in India started by Shopclues founder Sandeep Aggarwal, has raised around Rs 100 crore in a second round of funding led by Lightbox.Other investors who participated in the round are Beenos and two angel investors.

Droom, which sells everything from Lamborghinis to bicycles, was launched in November last year. It plans to expand into SE Asia, namely Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia by early 2016. Subsequently , it has plans to foray into Europe and the US.It has raised around Rs 120 crore till now . "I have tried to build a global company and have taken inspiration from lean models followed by global startups such as, Uber," said Aggarwal.

Droom operates in 13 different automobile categories including auto services.

First-hand Pricing Key to Unlock Online Automobile Industry Potential – Sandeep Aggarwal, CEO, Droom

Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder and Ex-CEO Shopclues speaks exclusively with Iamwire.com on his entrepreneurial journey, the hardships he faced, Flipkart’s business model, and his latest venture Droom.

Let’s start with your journey as an entrepreneur.

I acted as an entrepreneur in front of the mirror and in the bathroom before I could be one in real life. And I have had my share of failures as well -.I moved to the US in 1999 for my MBA and by the time I graduated in 2001, the dotcom Bubble had burst.

Thereafter, I was involved in many startups. None of them could yield results due to some reason or the other. In fact, I started an online real estate startup, which not many would know about, called Aapkabroker. We thought, we had everything in place. But unfortunately, at the eleventh hour, the VC chickened out. So, even that plan could not culminate into a success.

So, during that time, I was working as an Analyst at Wall Street covering companies like Google, Linkedin, Facebook etc, making millions. But soon I realized, there was no point in regrets – for letting go of my real passion which was to have a company of my own. So, on Father’s day, June 2011, I quit my job to start ShopClues. Technically I had already founded the company at my home in Silicon Valley in early 2011 but it was only after I had left my job that I could give my 100% to it. I moved to India in August 2011 and launched Shopclues as India’s first managed online marketplace in November, the same year. The idea was to create a marketplace platform to bring 15 million SMEs and 1 billion products online, and to bring the power of marketplace to both buyers & sellers in a way that it was a win-win situation for the entire ecosystem.

For how long were you associated with Shopclues as the CEO? How sure you about the decision of stepping down?

For two years…no, actually more than two years technically. I stepped down from the position of the CEO in 2013. Due to some legal controversy, I had to go to the US for about a year. So, I nominated Sanjay Sethi for the position of CEO. However, I had already made a long term planning for Shopclues – even in my absence, my vision was enacted upon.

Radhika, my spouse, and Sanjay Sethi were pivotal in shaping Shopclues and its success.. In times of my crisis, the company was managed under their guidance . The situation demanded sacrifices and was a tough phase for all of us.

You left Shopclues in 2013, a time which witnessed an extraordinary boom in Indian eCommerce. Do have any regrets?

I started creating the vision for Shopclues in September 2010. We were the 35th entrant into the market, but soon became the 5th largest eCommerce company in the country. We have proven everything in terms of our value proposition; raised several rounds of funding, and have a growing team of 450 employees. Until my last day at Shopclues, the company was going at the rate of 700% year on year. It was the fastest growing eCommerce company in India.

I stepped out in October to deal with my personal situation. I went to the US for a certain time. So, I used that time to make myself physically healthy and create a stronger vision for my next venture, which eventually culminated into Droom. Our vision, use of data analytics and technology was no less than any fortune 500 company. That’s the reason the company could survive without me.

If I think of it now, I ascertain, it was a blessing in disguise. If someone loses their eyesight, their ability to hear becomes stronger. My legal case had its own repercussions but it gave me the opportunity to cherry pick. The situation ignited a survival spirit in my team. The moment I got into trouble, we created a nine month plan. It takes 9 months for a baby to come. Likewise, we divided those nine months into 3 sections of 3 months each- first included a plan for survival, second was dedicated to stabilization, and the third for getting ready for growth.

When you look back at those hard times, how do you feel?

My legal case happened by the end of November 2013. It is very easy to search my name on Google and read about the controversy and judge me. But no one really cared what I was going through or what the actual matter was – I am a family person, a god fearing personbut I found myself in a situation which was very difficult to deal with.

In August last year I came here only to see Shopclues doing immensely well. It is amazing if you look at our resilience. Now Shopclues is worth $1.5 billion.

What is so unique about Shopclues?

If you think of the largest eCommerce companies in India- Flipkart, Snapdeal, Amazon and Shopclues, ours is the only horizontal company with a clear differentiation. Someone is hiring Aamir Khan or some other celebrity, but I do not find any thing exceptionally unique in them. But if you speak of Shopclues, from day 1, it is designed for small and medium sellers. And our company is the number 1 platform for them. We stand on the top in terms of number of sellers, for we have over 2lakh of those. Still we have only touched 1% of the total SMEs. We focus only on non-standard categories, such as clothing, footwears, gifts, flowers etc., rather than selling consumer goods. I can bet you, even today the best unit economics from day 1 till date remains with Shopclues.

I must tell you, Shopclues will be an IPO candidate in the next couple of years.

Let’s come to Droom now. How did the idea strike you?

When I realized things were stable enough, I thought what’s next for me. So, the first thing I focussed on was how to bring transparency for a marketplace. Now I have a patent for that!

Thereafter, I came up with 53 ideas, each one of them I thought would make a billion dollar company in India. Then I compared those ideas around 2 and half-3 dozen parameters. After comparing and filtering them, I was left with just two ideas and eventually Droom made it to the final decision.

Why Droom? What opportunities did you see for yourself in this market?

First off, it is a $124 billion opportunity out of which $100 billion is for automobile and $25billion is for the services associated with automobiles.

Secondly, I saw buyers and sellers suffering from lack of satisfaction in this market. There were some major pain points in this segment which only technology could remove. Also, I found myself to be uniquely qualified in terms of bringing a discipline in managing the marketplace and fixing the problems of this industry. That’s how I started speaking to some of the angel investors of Shopclues. Within 4 hours I got three times more than what I was looking for. With that money, I created a Silicon Valley office.

In August 2014, I came here. I launched Droom on 21st november 2014 in the same office where I had started Shopclues. Till date we have done two rounds of investment. The very first product that we had sold was a Bajaj Pulsar 2012 model. And since January, we are up by 250 X growth.

What strategies have you designed for Droom?

Our prime strategy is how to remove everything which serves an impediment to transactions between two unknown people. The biggest one is the trust followed by pricing, especially of second hand items. So, these are the two pain points we have to cater to.

Because it is a low trust market, we don’t expect anyone to pay the money upfront.. We have a concept of commitment fee. When you see a vehicle listed on our platform and have a desire to purchase it, you make 2% as a commitment fee. The moment you pay the fee, the listing become deactivated so that you have no fear of losing the vehicle to someone else. After that you have the right to meet the seller, to test drive the vehicle and verify documents.

Eventually, Droom returns the 2% it takes from you to the seller upon receiving its service fee.

Also, since Indians like to negotiate, we offer three types of pricing formats- Fixed Price, Best Offer and Auction. Moreover, Droom serves as India’s first marketplace for used items not only for B2C sellers but also C2C. So, you can sell items as well as buy from our platform.

How do you plan to compete with companies like Carwale, Cardekho, OLX etc?

Frankly, I don’t believe we have a direct competition from any of the companies you mentioned. Companies like OLX and Quickr are online classifieds which offer free listings. But there has been no innovation in online classifieds in the last 25 years. None of the companies in this segment in our country have become transactional platform. Secondly, companies like Cardekho, Carwale etc. are discovery platforms. They give you rich content- side by side comparison, videos, brochures etc. So, when they give you content they take your name and address and contact after which the seller starts calling you. My point is, free listings or online classifieds are not the moment of truth. For example, the moment of truth in the eCommerce was not deals – it was fulfillment experience. Flipkart, realized it, solved the problem faster and better than others, and now it is a 15 billion company. Similarly, the moment of truth in the used automobiles is not free listing or lead generation, it is first hand pricing and we are the only company in India which serves as an end to end transactional platform.

What is your revenue model?

We are completely a performance based platform. So we take a selling fee on every successful closure of a transaction. We make 1.5% on every successful transaction. And because there is no fulfillment involved, that 1.5% is the 98% gross margin for us. The only direct cost we have is the 2% we pay on the payment gateway. Then we have our online advertising. We also have pro seller premium programme for large sellers for which they can pay monthly subscription fee.

Our gross revenue was Rs 5 lakh in January which increased to Rs 13 crore in June, making us grow immensely, independent of category. We have 1100 sellers and 6500 listings. We sell roughly 8-10 cars and 10 to 12 two wheelers per day. Droom has crossed more than half a million internet downloads.

What challenges do you come across often on your path to progress?

To start with, talent acquisition is a major problem. We are a tech company, so we need a world class team, which is pretty difficult to build. Second is the struggle to build an ecosystem, which like I mentioned is restricted by deterrents like lack of trust and pricing, especially for used items. Persuading people to buy a car online is very different from making them buy a Chetan Bhagat book.

What is your opinion on India as a Digital economy?

The Industrial Revolution in 1600, Gold Rush in California in 1848, Software and Internet Revolution in Silicon Valley from 1995-present, Consumer Internet Revolution in China from 2000-present and Consumer Internet Revolution in India from 2010 till 2025. I think these are the largest man made wealth creation opportunities the world has ever witnessed. So, I believe, the consumer digital economy is the biggest thing to happen in this age. For the last two decades, the time was for IT services and BPO but as I see, the last 5 years plus the next 10 years, it’s going to be digital economy. However, to accomplish this, India still has a very long way to go in terms of developing its internet infrastructure, which is currently acting as the biggest hindrance on its way.

Ten startup artistes who are using their failed ventures as proverbial stepping stones

The last salary package that Sandeep Aggarwal drew was $1 million (roughly Rs 6.4 crore) per annum as managing director at Caris & Company, a boutique investment bank. But he was not satisfied. "I didn't want to live with the regret of not trying the third time," recalls the 42-year cofounder of ShopClues, an online marketplace started in 2011.

Entrepreneurship is an addiction and it took a good nine years for Aggarwal to realise it. In February 2002, he started Korind, a BPO consulting company. After running it for over two years, he shut it down in November 2004 as he felt partners weren't committed enough and funding wasn't coming.

Ten startup artistes who are using their failed ventures as proverbial stepping stones

Aggarwal went back to his family business of merchant banking, was at it for a few years before taking up a job with Charles Schwab in San Francisco. After four years of being an employee, he started AapkaBroker. com, an online broking firm, in January 2008. This time the timing was wrong. Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy in September and the global market went into a tailspin. AapkaBroker shut down in a year.

Once again Aggarwal fell back on a private sector job. But after two years, he used $1,00,000 (Rs 64 lakh) from his savings to start ShopClues. The Gurgaon-based startup has raised seed capital of $2 million and got funding of over $130 million so far from investors such as Tiger Global. Last April, Aggarwal started Droom, an online marketplace for used automobiles, which has raised over $5 million from investors.

So after two failures, he now has two more startups, both well-funded. "Commitment is the single biggest requirement to be an entrepreneur and I realised it after the first two failures," he says. "Entrepreneurship is a constant test of one's conviction and I have passed the test. I became mentally tough."

Maserati, Rolls Royce and Porsche now on Droom

With an exciting range of pre-owned super cars to choose from such as Maserati, Rolls Royce, Audi, Mercedes, Jaguar, Porsche and Land Rover, Droom will be able to offer its clientele a chance to buy their dream cars without compromising on either economy or luxury.

Translating this dream into reality is India's first online automobile marketplace Droom as it welcomes India's largest pre-owned exotic car dealership Big Boy Toyz on its platform.

Buy Maserati, Rolls Royce and Porsche on Droom

Imagine driving down the highway in a Rolls Royce Phantom with the envious eyes of other motorists on your sleek black sedan as it zooms past purring quietly to itself. If you thought owning luxury cars was the stuff dreams were made of, think again!

Translating this dream into reality is India's first online automobile marketplace Droom as it welcomes India's largest pre-owned exotic car dealership Big Boy Toyz on its platform. With an exciting range of pre-owned super cars to choose from such as Maserati, Rolls Royce, Audi, Mercedes, Jaguar, Porsche and Land Rover, Droom will be able to offer its clientele a chance to buy their dream cars without compromising on either economy or luxury.

Speaking on the development, Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder & CEO of Droom said, "As India's only consolidated online automobile marketplace, Droom has always endeavored to provide auto-lovers with world class automobiles at the most cost-effective rates. We are thrilled to have Big Boy Toyz, which is a leading authority in India on pre-owned super cars, on board our platform. This will not only help BBT in reaching out to more customers dynamically, but will also augment our already superlative collection with the choicest pre-owned automobiles."

Droom is India's most versatile automobile marketplace with a wide spectrum of cars starting from popular two-wheeler bikes and Tata Nanos to Lamborghinis.

To know more about this association please log onto -

http://droom.in/search?status=active&seller_id=444261

Uber signs up with Droom to offer ride in niche supercars for free

Uber has signed up with online car portal Droom to let users in New Delhi call for an Audi R8 or Hummer for free. The option to call these Uber Supercars is only available tomorrow, July 15 between 1 to 4 pm and it will a short 15 minute ride.

Uber, Uber Supercars, Uber Supercars in Delhi, Uber Audi R8, Uber Hummer, Uber Droom, #UberSuperCars, Uber Supercars feature, How to call Supercars on Uber, Social media, Technology, technology news

Here’s how it will work:

  1. Open the Uber app between 1 pm and 4 pm on July 15
  2. You’ll see UberSuperCars as one of the options in the slider. Click on that.
  3. Once you confirm the car-ride, a Supercar will arrive at your pick-up location for a 15-minute ride. Youe pick-up and drop-off location have to be the same. Essentially Uber is offering users a short joy-ride in these luxury cars.

Ubers warns "demand will be high and availability will be limited." Just like with Uber puppies which were in high demand, don’t think that you’ll get the Audi R8 ride so easily. Uber also says that you cannot test drive those Supercars, you cannot get a friend along and are not going to be a part of the regular Uber fleet.

Good luck trying for the Uber Supercar ride tomorrow.

Uber, Droom team up, offer free rides on Audi R8, Hummer

For a free ride on your favourite supercar, get on the Uber app between 1pm to 4pm on July 15, 2015.

If you have been drooling over the luxurious Audi R8 or pining for a ride in a sturdy Hummer, , gives you once in a lifetime chance to fulfill your wish!
Droom, online marketplace for buying and selling of automobiles, and the largest collection of supercars in India has partnered with Uber to announce a 'Supercars on Demand' scheme.

All that those looking for a ride have to do, is get on the Uber app between 1 pm to 4 pm on July 15, 2015 to get their favourite supercar on demand.

Rishab Malik, Co-founder & VP of Business Development, at Droom explains, "We are thrilled about this one of a kind event that we are hosting along with our partner Uber. Through this campaign we wish to bring people who have longed to enjoy a first-hand experience of supercars one step closer to owning their very own mean machine."

Karun Arya, Communications Lead, South Asia & India, Uber, added, "This is the first time we're bringing #UberSUPERCARS to India, for real. Uber is all about providing amazing and unique experiences to its riders and this is one way of giving them an opportunity to sit back, relax and enjoy the supercar ride."
Droom says surprise gifts are also in store for select riders.

Droom partners with Uber to offer free rides in supercars

Droom, the mobile first android and iOS marketplace has entered into an agreement with Uber to introduce ‘Supercars on Demand’.

Droom ‘Supercars on Demand’ will be available exclusively for three hours on July 15, 2015, between 1 – 4 pm. Participants keen to participate in the campaign will be required to download the app, click photos of their favorite supercars and post them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Participants of Droom ‘Supercars on Demand’ campaign will use the hashtag #UberSUPERCARS and tag@letsdroom on posts, while surprise gifts await select riders.

droom uber partnership

Droom, in association with Uber, will be offering participants a chance to drive the coolest of supercars for free, which would otherwise have remained just a dream. Be it an Audi R8 or a Hummer, exclusive luxury cars are well within reach of participants with Droom. However, the activity is only planned for Delhi-NCR and there are only four supercars on offer.

The Droom campaign is planned to bring supercar aficionados closer to experiencing the thrill and ecstasy of riding in a supercar of their dreams and one step closer to actually owning one of these vehicles. Droom is India’s online marketplace for purchase and sale of automobiles and two wheelers.

Hummer uber

The company was founded in April 2014 in Silicon Valley, USA and is funded by leading global venture investors with 75 years of combined experience in technology, internet, e-commerce and FMGG which also includes 35 years in Silicon Valley. With an office in Gurgaon and Silicon Valley, Droom has over 85 employees.

Portal offers free rides in niche supercars!

A luxurious Audi R8 or a sturdy Hummer? -- cars that are so fast that they are called supercars are being offered up for free drives in a new campaign by an online portal.

Droom, an online marketplace for buying and selling of automobiles has partnered with cab service provider Uber to present 'Supercars on Demand' here.

"To avail of the offer participants have to get on the Uber mobile application between 1 PM and 4 PM on July 15 to get an opportunity to drive a supercar, organisers said .

Rishab Malik, Co-founder and VP, Business Development, at Droom says, "We are absolutely thrilled about this one of a kind event that we are hosting along with our partner Uber.

"Niche luxury cars are now just a click away with Droom.

With this latest category, we now offer the widest range of pre-owned, exotic and classy cars for sale. Through this campaign we wish to bring people who have longed to enjoy a first-hand experience of super cars one step closer to owning their very own mean machine."

Users can post on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pictures with these supercars and surprise gifts would be given away to select riders.

"This is the first time we're bringing #UberSUPERCARS to India, for real. Uber is all about providing amazing and unique experiences to its riders and this is one way of giving them an opportunity to sit back, relax and enjoy the supercar ride," says Karun Arya, Communications Lead, South Asia and India, Uber.

The ride-sharing company has offered the same deal earlier in Singapore and Malaysia among other countries.

Portal offers free rides in niche supercars!

Droom, an online marketplace for buying and selling of automobiles has partnered with cab service provider Uber to present ‘Supercars on Demand’

A luxurious Audi R8 or a sturdy Hummer, cars that are so fast that they are called supercars are being offered up for free drives in a new campaign by an online portal.

Portal offers free rides in niche supercars!

Droom, an online marketplace for buying and selling of automobiles has partnered with cab service provider Uber to present ‘Supercars on Demand’ in New Delhi. "To avail of the offer participants have to get on the Uber mobile application between 1pm and 4pm on 15 July to get an opportunity to drive a supercar, organisers said .

Rishab Malik, Co-founder and VP, Business Development, at Droom says, "We are absolutely thrilled about this one of a kind event that we are hosting along with our partner Uber. "Niche luxury cars are now just a click away with Droom. With this latest category, we now offer the widest range of pre-owned, exotic and classy cars for sale. Through this campaign we wish to bring people who have longed to enjoy a first-hand experience of super cars one step closer to owning their very own mean machine."

Users can post on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pictures with these supercars and surprise gifts would be given away to select riders. "This is the first time we’re bringing #UberSUPERCARS to India, for real. Uber is all about providing amazing and unique experiences to its riders and this is one way of giving them an opportunity to sit back, relax and enjoy the supercar ride," says Karun Arya, Communications Lead, South Asia and India, Uber.

The ride-sharing company has offered the same deal earlier in Singapore and Malaysia among other countries.

Uber, Droom team up, offer free rides on Audi R8, Hummer

Droom, an online marketplace for buying and selling of automobiles has partnered with Uber to present 'Supercars on Demand'.

If you have been drooling over the luxurious Audi R8 or pining for a ride in a sturdy Hummer, , gives you once in a lifetime chance to fulfill your wish!

supercars

Droom, online marketplace for buying and selling of automobiles, and the largest collection of supercars in India has partnered with Uber to announce a ‘Supercars on Demand’ scheme.
All that those looking for a ride have to do, is get on the Uber app between 1 pm to 4 pm on July 15, 2015 to get their favourite supercar on demand

Rishab Malik, Co-founder & VP of Business Development, at Droom explains, "We are thrilled about this one of a kind event that we are hosting along with our partner Uber. Through this campaign we wish to bring people who have longed to enjoy a first-hand experience of supercars one step closer to owning their very own mean machine."

Karun Arya, Communications Lead, South Asia & India, Uber, added, "This is the first time we’re bringing #UberSUPERCARS to India, for real. Uber is all about providing amazing and unique experiences to its riders and this is one way of giving them an opportunity to sit back, relax and enjoy the supercar ride."
Droom says surprise gifts are also in store for select riders.

Portal offers free rides in niche supercars!

A luxurious Audi R8 or a sturdy Hummer? -- cars that are so fast that they are called supercars are being offered up for free drives in a new campaign by an online portal.

Droom, an online marketplace for buying and selling of automobiles has partnered with cab service provider Uber to present 'Supercars on Demand' here.

"To avail of the offer participants have to get on the Uber mobile application between 1 PM and 4 PM on July 15 to get an opportunity to drive a supercar, organisers said .

Rishab Malik, Co-founder and VP, Business Development, at Droom says, "We are absolutely thrilled about this one of a kind event that we are hosting along with our partner Uber.

"Niche luxury cars are now just a click away with Droom. With this latest category, we now offer the widest range of pre-owned, exotic and classy cars for sale. Through this campaign we wish to bring people who have longed to enjoy a first-hand experience of super cars one step closer to owning their very own mean machine."

Users can post on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pictures with these supercars and surprise gifts would be given away to select riders.

"This is the first time we're bringing #UberSUPERCARS to India, for real. Uber is all about providing amazing and unique experiences to its riders and this is one way of giving them an opportunity to sit back, relax and enjoy the supercar ride," says Karun Arya, Communications Lead, South Asia and India, Uber.

The ride-sharing company has offered the same deal earlier in Singapore and Malaysia among other countries.

Want to ride an Audi R8 or Hummer free of cost ? Well, tomorrow could be the day

Droom, an online marketplace for buying and selling of automobiles, in partneship with Uber is giving a chance to fulfil your wish

All you super car lovers if you have been wishing to ride your dream vehicle, Wednesday could be the day.

droom uber partnership

Droom, an online marketplace for buying and selling of automobiles, in partneship with Uber is giving a chance to fulfil your wish. The company has launched a programme called ‘Supercars on Demand’, in which all that an individual needs to do is to get on the Uber app between 1 and 4 pm to get one's favourite super car on demand.

"Niche luxury cars are now just a click away. With this latest category, we now offer the widest range of pre-owned, exotic and classy cars for sale. Through this campaign we wish to bring people who have longed to enjoy a first-hand experience of super cars," said Rishab Malik, co-founder & VP of business development, at Droom.

Droom was founded in April 2014 in Silicon Valley.

Online portal Droom offers free rides in niche supercars

A luxurious Audi R8 or a sturdy Hummer? -- cars that are so fast that they are called supercars are being offered up for free drives in a new campaign by an online portal.

Droom, an online marketplace for buying and selling of automobiles has partnered with cab service provider Uber to present 'Supercars on Demand' here.

Droom, an online marketplace for buying and selling of automobiles has partnered with cab service provider Uber to present 'Supercars on Demand'.

"To avail of the offer participants have to get on the Uber mobile application between 1 PM and 4 PM on July 15 to get an opportunity to drive a supercar, organisers said .

Rishab Malik, Co-founder and VP, Business Development, at Droom says, "We are absolutely thrilled about this one of a kind event that we are hosting along with our partner Uber.

"Niche luxury cars are now just a click away with Droom. With this latest category, we now offer the widest range of pre-owned, exotic and classy cars for sale. Through this campaign we wish to bring people who have longed to enjoy a first-hand experience of super cars one step closer to owning their very own mean machine."

Users can post on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pictures with these supercars and surprise gifts would be given away to select riders.

"This is the first time we're bringing #UberSUPERCARS to India, for real. Uber is all about providing amazing and unique experiences to its riders and this is one way of giving them an opportunity to sit back, relax and enjoy the supercar ride," says Karun Arya, Communications Lead, South Asia and India, Uber.

The ride-sharing company has offered the same deal earlier in Singapore and Malaysia among other countries.

An opportunity to drive Audi R8 & Hummer for free

If you have always dreamed of driving those high-end cars but did not have that deep pocket to own it, here is a chance to do that without spending any money.

Droom, an online marketplace for automobiles, in association with Uber, is offering freed rides to popular sports car Audi R8 and Sports Utility Vehicle Hummer.

The two firm are organising this under an event called 'Supercar on Demand'. Citizens need to get on the Uber app between 1 to 4 pm on July 15 to avail the opportunity.

Rishab Malik, Co-founder & VP of Business Development, at Droom commented, "Niche luxury cars are now just a click away with Droom. With this latest category, we now offer the widest range of pre-owned, exotic and classy cars for sale. Through this campaign we wish to bring people who have longed to enjoy a first-hand experience of super cars one step closer to owning their very own mean machine."

Karun Arya, Communications Lead, South Asia & India, Uber, added, "This is the first time we're bringing #UberSUPERCARS to India, for real. Uber is all about providing amazing and unique experiences to its riders and this is one way of giving them an opportunity to sit back, relax and enjoy the supercar ride."

Droom offering free ride in a supercar

If you have been drooling over the luxurious Audi R8 or pining for a ride in a sturdy Hummer, Droom, the online marketplace for buying and selling of automobiles, gives you once in a lifetime chance to fulfill your wish!

With the largest collection of supercars in India, it now partners with Uber to present 'Supercars on Demand'.

All you have to do is get on the Uber app between 1 and 4 pm on July 15, 2015 to get your favourite supercar on demand and let the four wheeled wonder sweep you off your feet as you speed away!

Rishab Malik, co-founder and VP of Business Development at Droom, commented, "We are absolutely thrilled about this one of a kind event that we are hosting along with our partner Uber. Niche luxury cars are now just a click away with Droom. With this latest category, we now offer the widest range of pre-owned, exotic and classy cars for sale. Through this campaign we wish to bring people who have longed to enjoy a first-hand experience of supercars one step closer to owning their very own mean machine."

Karun Arya, communications lead, South Asia and India, Uber, commented, "This is the first time we're bringing #UberSUPERCARS to India, for real. Uber is all about providing amazing and unique experiences to its riders and this is one way of giving them an opportunity to sit back, relax and enjoy the supercar ride."

This will be a memorable experience for Uber and Droom users who can post on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pictures with these supercars. Surprise gifts will also be given away to select riders!

Droom ties up with Mahindra First Choice

Droom, an online marketplace for buying and selling of automobiles, has entered into a strategic partnership with Mahindra First Choice.

According to the partnership, Droom will be entitled to Mahindra's AutoInspekt services, which will enable inspection of automobiles for the buyers and sellers on Droom. Droom has also licensed its pricing engine -- Indian Blue Book (IBB) -- that is one of the most comprehensive and reliable used car-pricing guides in the country.

Rishab Malik, co-founder and vice present of business development at Droom, commented, "This alliance spells a major deal not only for both companies but also for the industry in its entirety. Having AutoInspekt conduct inspections for our cars and two-wheelers and providing transparency on pricing allow us to build more trust for buyers and sellers at Droom."

B Ganeshkumar, senior vice-president, Mahindra First Choice Wheels, said: "We are very excited to partner with Droom with our industry leading inspection (Autoinspekt) and pricing services (Indian Blue Book). We are looking forward to working with Droom to enable their transactions pan-India and support their innovation agenda."

The primary aim of the association is to ensure another security checkpoint for automobiles listed on Droom. One of the most professional and comprehensive auto inspection and grading programs available till date, Mahindra's AutoInspekt will perform auto inspection for used cars and two-wheelers on behalf of Droom, thus validating every sale/purchase made through the platform.

The new alliance is a pan-India agreement and covers the entire network of Mahindra. It entitles all vehicles listed on Droom to an independent and professional inspection report. It also allows Droom to tap into lakhs of transactional data from Mahindra First Choice that comes to them via India Blue Book, helping them create pricing advantage for buyers.

Founded in April 2014 in Silicon Valley, Droom is an online marketplace to buy and sell new and used automobiles and automobile services.

Droom Join Hands With Mahindra First Choice For Auto Inspection

An online marketplace for buying and selling of automobiles, Droom, tied up with Mahindra’s AutoInspekt services which will enable inspection of automobiles for the buyers and sellers. Droom has also licensed their pricing engine; Indian Blue Book (IBB) that is one of the most comprehensive and reliable used car-pricing guides in the country.

Rishab Malik, Co-founder & VP of Business Development, Droom, said, "Having AutoInspekt conduct inspections for our cars and two-wheelers and providing transparency on pricing allows us to build more trust for buyers and sellers at Droom."

This partnership is aim to ensure another security checkpoint for automobiles listed on Droom. One of the most professional and comprehensive auto inspection and grading programs available till date, Mahindra’s AutoInspekt will perform auto inspection for used cars and two wheelers on behalf of Droom, thus validating every sale/purchase made through the platform.

B. Ganeshkumar, Senior Vice President, Mahindra First Choice Wheels said "We are looking forward to working with Droom to enable their transactions pan-India and support their innovation agenda"

The new alliance is a Pan-India agreement and covers the entire network of Mahindra. It entitles all vehicles listed on Droom to an independent and professional inspection report. It also allows Droom to tap into lakhs of transactional data from Mahindra First Choice that comes to them via India Blue Book, helping them to create pricing advantage for buyers.

Droom enters into a strategic alliance with Mahindra First Choice

The primary aim of the association is to ensure another security checkpoint for automobiles listed on Droom. Mahindra’s AutoInspekt will perform auto inspection for used cars and two wheelers

Droom, an online marketplace for buying and selling of automobiles, has entered into a strategic alliance with Mahindra First Choice for using Mahindra's AutoInspekt services, which will enable inspection of automobiles for the buyers and sellers on Droom.

Droom has also licensed their pricing engine; Indian Blue Book (IBB) which is usesd for used car-pricing guides.

"This alliance spells a major deal not only for both companies but also for the industry in its entirety. Having AutoInspekt conduct inspections for our cars and two-wheelers and providing transparency on pricing allows us to build more trust for buyers and sellers at Droom," said Rishab Malik, Co-founder & VP of Business Development, at Droom

B.Ganeshkumar, Senior Vice President, Mahindra First Choice Wheels said "We are very excited to partner with Droom with our industry leading inspection (Autoinspekt) and pricing services (Indian Blue Book). We are looking forward to working with Droom to enable their transactions pan-India and support their innovation agenda"

The primary aim of the association is to ensure another security checkpoint for automobiles listed on Droom. Mahindra's AutoInspekt will perform auto inspection for used cars and two wheelers on behalf of Droom, thus validating every sale/purchase made through the platform.

The new alliance is a Pan-India agreement and covers the entire network of Mahindra. It entitles all vehicles listed on Droom to an independent and professional inspection report. Droom also gets access to the transactional data from Mahindra First Choice that comes to them via India Blue Book.

Droom enters into a strategic alliance with Mahindra First Choice

Droom will be entitled to Mahindra's 'AutoInspekt services', which will enable inspection of automobiles for the buyers and sellers on Droom and has also licensed their pricing engine, Indian Blue Book (IBB).

Droom enhances its services by entering into a strategic alliance with Mahindra First Choice. As per the partnership, Droom will be entitled to Mahindra's 'AutoInspekt services', which will enable inspection of automobiles for the buyers and sellers on Droom and has also licensed their pricing engine, Indian Blue Book (IBB).

Droom enters into a strategic alliance with Mahindra First Choice

Rishab Malik, Co-founder & VP of Business Development, Droom said, "This alliance spells a major deal not only for both companies but also for the industry in its entirety. Having 'AutoInspekt' conduct inspections for our cars and two-wheelers and providing transparency on pricing allows us to build more trust for buyers and sellers at Droom."

B. Ganeshkumar, Senior Vice President, Mahindra First Choice Wheels said, "We are very excited to partner with Droom with our industry leading inspection (AutoInspekt) and pricing services (Indian Blue Book). We are looking forward to working with Droom to enable their transactions pan-India and support their innovation agenda."

The primary aim of the association is to ensure another security checkpoint for automobiles listed on Droom. Mahindra's 'AutoInspekt' will perform auto inspection for used cars and two wheelers on behalf of Droom, thus validating every sale/purchase made through the platform.

The new alliance is a Pan-India agreement and covers the entire network of Mahindra. It entitles all vehicles listed on Droom to an independent and professional inspection report. It also allows Droom to tap into lakhs of transactional data from Mahindra First Choice that comes to them via India Blue Book, helping them to create pricing advantage for buyers.

Used Lamborghini available for sale on Droom

Online marketplace Droom is selling two used Lamborghini supercars in India, namely, the Aventador LP 700-4 Roadster 2013 model and the Gallardo LP 560-4 Coupe 2009. The two cars have been used only for 3,100 Km and 5,700 Km respectively.

"At Droom, we are very obsessive about bringing great selection of automobiles for buyers and aggregate the automobile industry online at a scale not achieved by anyone so far", said Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder & CEO at Droom.

Droom claims to offer the widest range of pre-owned, exotic and classy cars for sale. The company aims to expand its luxury car category, with more models from top brands set to join the fray.

Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder of ShopClues.com and CEO of Droom, on what makes ShopClues tick, how they attract talent and more

Sandeep Aggarwal is the co-founder of online marketplace ShopClues.com and the CEO of Droom, an online-based marketplace for used automobiles. A former equity research analyst for a San Francisco-based financial services firm, he set up ShopClues in 2011. In this interview, he talks about why candidates should join start-ups like ShopC-lues, the initiatives they undertook for employees and the e-commerce industry in general.

You have raised about $100 million from Tiger Global. Please take us through your journey of how you started ShopClues and how you man-aged to get funding for the company.

We started ShopClues in 2011 at a time when the eco-system was not fully developed and at an early stage. Earlier, businessmen were looked down upon and the country was not very friendly with start-ups in general. I started ShopClues at my home in California. For the first six months, I was workingon my own. Soon, I teamed up with Sanjay Sethi and Radhika Aggarwal and some others who are not part of ShopClues any more. Initially, I funded the company with my savings. In August 2011, we raised close to $2 million from some of our friends. But, we had faced a lot of problems as well. A very famous venture capital fund approac-hed us to raise $5 million from them. So, we said no to our earlier investors and decided to work with this VC fund. However, that deal did not go through. There was a lot of resilience in what we were doing and so things kept chugging along.

The entire team was uprooted from the Silicon Valley to Gurgaon. Though we were Indians, we did not spend 15-20 years of our prime life in this country. So when we came here, we were just like any other foreigner. We started out with a staff of five. No one knew about us and there were times when we would second guess ourselves as we hadn’t even launched and there were already national level e-commerce companies like Yebhi, Flipkart and Fashionandyou. But, we had an innovative and disruptive model. We turned out to be India’s first marketplace and unlike our competitors who spend a lot of wasteful expenditure on marketing and cash on delivery. Cash on delivery has a 35 per cent return rate. E-commerce is not an industry where you have an 80 per cent gross margin. In fact, no company, including Amazon, actually makes money. We developed a culture of not throwing money at the problem.

In January 2012, we raised our next round of funding and this was close to a $5 million. In January 2013, we raised $15-20 million and then the latest was from Tiger Global. We have had our ups and downs. When we started, we were in the Top 30 companies and now we are the fourth largest e-commerce company.

Have you found it difficult to get talent?

In 2011-12, it was difficult to get talent as they didn’t want to work with a start-up in its early stages. Right now, e-commerce may be a very attractive industry, but when the industry first came into being, people were very vary of e-commerce in general and didn’t even want to consider it as a career option. Now, that situation has been turned on its head. With money flowing into e-commerce startups, now we are facing a scarcity of talent.

You identify yourself as an SME marketplace. Is there any particular reason why you do that?

India has 27 million SMEs. China, India and large businesses as they have the money, resources and have their own organized retail. There are millions of people who sell something for a living but do not have the capital or the sophistication or the technology & knowledge that will help them succeed. So, we wanted to create a platform for them. Our partnership with SME sellers is complementary and we help them to participate in the organized retail rather than being on the sidelines.

When I spoke to your team members, they talked about having to handle multiple roles and responsibilities. How easy is it for talented people from MBA schools to work here at ShopClues?

I’m not underestimating anything that we do for a living, but it’s not rocket science. The rocket science is not marketing, finance or produce management but the start-up attitude. If someone brings in a lot of energy, passion, with a sense of owners-hip and responsibility, sees the glass as half full rather than half empty, not taking no for an answer, someone who can deal with the ambiguity – now those are the kind of people that we are looking for. These soft skills are in scarcity in many candidates today.

I agree with you on that, but how scalable is this model?

It is very scalable. Whether it is Flip-kart, Snapdeal, ShopClues or Droom, we are technology companies in retail rather than retail companies using technology. We invest a lot in technology so that certain tasks can be automated for accuracy and speed of completion. If you are investing the right technology for the right problem, then I think it is very scalable. A lot of organized retail companies have been operating for 12-15 years, but they have not achieved gross revenue as each of the top e-commerce com-panies have achieved in just the last three to four years. The e-commerce industry has a huge potential and is very scalable.

People are your biggest asset. What initiatives do you do for them?

We focus on helping each other unleash our true potential. We make sure there is no politics in our environment, no bureaucracy, no biases. They feel like they are in the best jobs of their life. We believe in adaptations, prototyping and fast iterations. We encourage people to do experiments, fail and fail fast and in turn learn from mistakes. Not everyone gets the same thing right the first time, but with the power of iterations, our people are empowered and they are able to achieve a product that is very good for the user. If you have an open and transparent culture, an open door policy, you encourage ideas, experiments and failures. The current millennial generation is very technologically savvy, have a lot of capacity and stamina. If you give them the right opportunity, they blossom.

Why should a candidate consider a start-up as a career option?

I think one should consider a start-up as a career option because this is where you are not driven by whom do you know. So favoritism does not work here. What works here is your energy, passion and your merit. These companies are not driven by your age, gender, region, beliefs etc. If you can do bigger and better than what you are doing, then you are a superhero. Everyone in his environment has the equal opportunity to be a superhero. In a start-up environment, you can push your limits, learn, get exposure and work very closely with the CEO. There would be no hierarchies as these are typically flat organizations. Even monetarily, it can be very rewarding with ESOPs. The downside of the start-up would be will it run out of money, whether the company is viable or will it get acquired. But, there is no job security even in a big company. More than the downside, there is a huge upside: You will make more money and have a better career than your peer group.