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AutoPortal Making vehicle buying and selling more transparent [ My Story ]

To make the vehicle buying and selling more transparent from both buyer and sellers stand point Autoportal.com was launched in India in Nov 2013.

AutoPortalWe started with a mission to help the customer in deciding – Which vehicle to buy? Where to buy from? How much to pay for it?

First we launched Autoportal.com and then subsequently, we launched a different property Bikeportal.in for the two wheeler segment.

Recently, we have launched a “Used Car” section with a goal in mind to solve the problem of selling used car and make the process hassle free. This means that a consumer who is trying to sell his/her used vehicle can see its selling price upfront.

Autoportal.com

What’s the current traction on your platform? 

We are having a terrific growth and traction since we have launched the products.
• 5M+ unique visitors on both of our verticals per month (GA).
• We are creating 144 minutes of video content per month on YouTube per day. This is creating incredible amount of viewership for us, apart from branding.
• Platform wise, ~350+ OEM-authorized dealerships are a part of our premium dealership program across the country, where Autoportal is helping them sell cars faster and with confidence.
• Currently, we are operating in 09 different locations successfully.
• We are able to do this because we have connected with the dealers with a backend system, which handles the complete customer journey from intent to purchase. This system is updated by dealers and Autoportal team on all most real time.
• We are successfully able to sell hundreds of cars with 95% satisfaction level of customers through our platform per month.
• Bikeportal is the only player in its segment that started bike booking for Suzuki last month, where people are paying on our platform to book vehicle post research. We are seeing a phenomenal traction.
• Several other OEMs and Dealerships will be a part of this journey soon.

Are you following the similar idea as floated before? How is it different from other similar platforms? 

  • There were several other companies that existed long before we started this. However, there existed a lot of unsolved problems.
  • None of the automotive website was solving the problems that consumers were facing while buying vehicles.
  • Indian and international automotive e-commerce has been in nascent stage and hugely fragmented. Even today, there are many things that need to be done in this ecosystem.
  • A typical active Indian car buyer takes 90–120 days to make a decision about car purchase. During this period, he researches a lot of authentic material, before making this decision. No one was doing a great job on this.

So, the whole idea was how to make the car research as well as the actual car buying as easiest as possible through online route. We are working hard to solve this tiny but real problem through content, catalogue, offers, consultation and connection to authorized dealerships.

What’s the initial investment made to launch the venture? In which segments did you spend the investment? 

  • We received initial seed investment from an investment group called BeStrategic. We are using the investment very wisely in Marketing and Technology as the two main forces.

What has Autoportal added to this segment of platforms? Has it addressed any particular issue that others failed to deliver to the consumer?

  • Autoportal is solving two important problems in buying new car and bikes:
    • Help dealers sell the vehicle faster and in a more managed way.

Help consumers make a hassle-free purchase by providing information, transparency in pricing and in-person consultation.We are a calibrated automotive ecommerce player, covering major locations and brands in this process.

  • In case of pre-owned vehicles, Autoportal is focusing on C2B marketplace.
    • We are helping consumers sell their car faster with appropriate price point.
    • This also solves the procurement problem of good vehicles faced by pre-owned car dealerships.

How big is this segment? How many players are out there?

  • As per Booz&Co research, India would be the second largest automotive market after China by 2035. With the expanded middle class in India, with buying a car being the 2nd most important investment by an Indian, with different types of cars about to be launched in the coming days, there is a huge scope for Autoportal and Bikeportal to scale in this segment.
  • There are few old players who have raised huge amount of funds. However, we feel that the market is still at a nascent stage and lot of data-related innovation is yet to be seen on this space.

What’s the revenue model of your platform? What’s the annual turnover? What’s the growth of your venture? 

  • We have got multiple revenue models to touch the customer at various points of his lifetime. All the product items have not been completely launched yet, but you will see them rolling soon.
  • We have significant 61 times revenue growth in Q3-2015 in comparison to Q3-2014.

In this segment, many online players have recently raised huge amount of funding. Are you looking forward to raise any funding for your venture?

  • We are wisely using the existing investment to get the right model in place. Results have been very convincing till now.
  • However, we are approached and talks are going on with various VC firms. With right valuation and team, we are fine to raise funds.

What are the challenges you see in this segment? How are you going to overcome it? 

  • How we are going to create complete transparency in pricing data and buying information available is the current challenge for us.

Amidst other similar platforms, how tough is the competition? 

Indian automotive market is still in a nascent stage. Even though there are similar platforms available, the market is still hugely fragmented and no one has really started solving the real pain points of the vehicle transaction process as a true market place.

So, we will focus on the typical problem-solving pieces simultaneously. The company that is executing things right with right value proposition will be the clear winner.

As of date, 350+ dealerships across different metro cities and brands have become a part of our unique sales program. We are able to do this because both dealership and Autoportal talk over a backend system. This helps both the car shopper and the dealership to close the transaction faster and with complete transparency.
What’s the competition landscape? What are the exit options?

We are going along with our mission and solving an important problem of the automotive market place in India. We have not thought about the exit option till now.
What’s the growth prospect of your venture?

We have already reached to

  • 5M+ UVs per month in the current stage.
  • in is No.#1 bike portal in the country.
  • 300+ cars are getting sold via our platform.
  • 350+ new car dealerships are a part of our sales program.
  • All the major OEM agencies are partnered and advertising with us.

All the above has happened within 1.5 years of our operation. The plan is to rock the market with innovative solutions, which solves existing problems in this segment.

This is our stepping stone to make the next levels of solution and business growth.
What lies on the product roadmap?

There are several projects simultaneously going on in different parts of Autoportal.com and Bikeportal.in to solve some important problems faced during vehicle shopping.

We are testing few hypotheses very aggressively now.

Our focus on Mobile, differentiating content and providing solutions for retailers/consumers are on the prime radar.

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Our vision is to help early-stage startups and be a part of their growth. we believe that startups have the potentials to create solutions for community problems and we see ourself as helping hand to such entrepreneurs.

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