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Marketplace for used automobiles Droom to invest upto $10m in acquisitions

After closing its $20 million Series C round of funding last week, Droom, an online marketplace for used automobiles, plans to announce a few acquisitions by the end of this year, founder Sandeep Aggarwal said.

“We are planning 2-3 acquisitions this year and will probably spend about $8-10 million. We have been in talks with several companies,” he added.

Droom will also expand into Indonesia this year, a year later than its earlier planned foray into Southeast Asia. When asked on the deferred timelines, Aggarwal admitted the plan had been ‘delayed’ as the company had stayed focused on its operations in India.

“We stayed focused on India because if we capture India, then we can capture many other countries. After Diwali (this year), we will expand internationally and Indonesia will be the first country. After that, we will be expanding to Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Singapore,” he said.

After SEA, Droom will consider Middle East and Western Europe for expansion. It expects international expansion to contribute 10-15 per cent of the total revenues in calendar year 2018. In 2019, overseas revenue could increase to 20-25 per cent, Aggarwal added.

The company’s recently closed Series C round was lower than than the quantum it had raised as part of its earlier Series B financing.

At a press briefing announcing the funding last week, Aggarwal had said: “Series C is smaller than Series B in terms of quantum  of money – it is not because we could not get more money – in fact more money was available, but we are still sitting on 70-80 per cent of our Series B. We feel bad that we could have raised the same money now at a much higher valuation now (when compared to Series B), and seen a lesser dilution.”

The company says it was unable to spend its Series B funding entirely as it had achieved at least three times more its internal target. It also claims to be the first e-commerce company that had achieved low single-digit dilution in Series C.

Droom will be launching two new services — RTO services and test drive at doorstep in the coming months. By December this year, it aims to cross Rs 5,000 crore in gross revenues and close to Rs 125 crore in net revenues. Droom has 1,79,000 auto dealers and has sold 1,50,000 vehicles since its inception.

Aggarwal has recently been locked in a bitter spat with the top management of Shopclues, another online marketplace he co-founded.

He had handed over the reins of Shopclues to his now-estranged wife Radhika Aggarwal in 2013, when he was arrested by the FBI for his alleged involvement in an insider trading case in the US in 2013. In March this year, Aggarwal took to social media to accuse his wife of pushing him out of Shopclues, in collusion with co-founder Sanjay Sethi.

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