Sandeep Aggarwal, serial entrepreneur and investor, sounded happy as he squeezed in some time on a Saturday morning to discuss Droom’s latest fundraising.
He said, “My journey has both been exciting and challenging.” Before starting Droom, Aggarwal co-founded Shopclues with Radhika Aggarwal and Sanjay Setti, a marketplace in India valued at a little more than a billion dollars.
Aggarwal is a fan of the internet and wanted to get a new perspective on running Droom. He had to let go of his old thinking and think like a beginner entrepreneur.
He believes India is a market that is emerging, highly fragmented, and has inefficient distribution channels. The cost of capital also is high. Aggarwal believes that marketplaces are a good business model for emerging markets.
“I am very proud to have created India’s largest automotive marketplace, as India is third in the world in terms of automobile sales and contributes 12 per cent to the country’s gross domestic product,” he said, adding, “In just four years we’ve created India’s largest auto portal, largest vertical ecommerce, and largest hyperlocal market.”
Droom raised $30 Million in Series D earlier last week. Toyota Tsusho Corporation, a member of the Toyota Group and Digital Garage of Japan, led the series.
In this round of fundraising, Ellison Investments (an Asia-based investment manager) joined the existing investors, along with a number of prominent institutional investors, family offices, and investors from China, Hong Kong, and SE Asia.
In discussing what Droom did well in this round, he says, “In the modern world, you have to create technology- and data-intensive businesses.”Droom is a technology firm, not an automotive or retail business. Money follows these businesses.
Droom is looking forward to continuing with this platform for years to come.
The ccompany’svision also includes remaining agnostic to product, price, and seller, as well as geographic location. Aggarwal says that this is what makes the business scaleable.
India, unlike Europe and Japan, is a market with low trust. This creates modern hazards in the used car category. There are no standards for this industry. “ur the idea is to make transactions fast and reliable for anything with a wheel and motor that is used as a human transport,” he said.
Droom is also marking its next milestone with fundraising, as it plans to expand into nine South Asian countries by 2019, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Lahus.
Aggarwal also hopes to list Droom on the American Stock Market, NASDAQ, by the end of next.