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Droom - India's First Online Market Place for Automobiles!

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Today, we are not new to the concept of buying and selling automobiles online. But back then, it was a big deal. Yes, we are talking about the period before the emergence of Droom.

Droom was founded by Sandeep Aggarwal in 2014 after he left Shopclues. Based out of Gurugram, Droom is an online marketplace to buy and sell new and used automobiles.

With the sole vision of becoming a pioneer in this sector, Sandeep Aggarwal forayed into the startup ecosystem. Though he began quite late in this sector, at the age of 45 years, he could boast of having successfully built a startup that was worth over $1 bn.

Droom - Company Highlights

  • Startup Name-Droom
  • Headquarter-Gurugram, India
  • Sector-Automotive eCommerce
  • Founders-Sandeep Aggarwal
  • Founded-2014
  • Parent Organization-Droom Technology Private Limited
  • Website-droom.in

Droom - About and How Droom works

Droom is an AI and data science-driven online transactional platform, which offers 21st-century experience in buying and selling used and new automobiles in India and other emerging markets. The startup has built an entire ecosystem around used automobiles for the digital economy, including Orange Book Value (used vehicle pricing engine), Eco (1,000+ points vehicle inspection), History (history records for used vehicles), Discovery (dozens of pre-Buying & Selling tools) and Credit (India’s first and only marketplace for a used auto loan and dealer financing).

The Droom company caters to the individual buyers and sellers, dealers, and large enterprises not only for buying and selling but also for the entire life cycle management and all automobile ancillary services. It is an online platform that connects buyers and sellers of used cars, new vehicles, motorcycles, and even aircrafts. There’s a huge scope in India for the used vehicles, where there are four main issues that are noticeable:

The condition of the vehicle

  • Price factors
  • Documentation
  • Trust
  • And the most important issue is the trust factor between the dealing parties.

Droom - Target Market Size

As per the recent calculations, India’s automobile industry is worth over $225 Billion. Out of which, $60 Billion is comprised of the ancillary services such as warranty, insurance, and services. The remaining $160 Billion is primarily split between new vehicles and used automobiles.

With 80% market share of the automobile transactions online, Droom is India’s largest automobile platform online and the 4th largest E-Commerce company. Besides India, Droom is available in Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia and OBV is available in over 38 countries globally, making OBV world’s number one benchmark pricing engine.

Droom - Founder/Owner and Team

Sandeep Aggarwal is the founder and CEO of Droom.

Sandeep Aggarwal - Founder of Droom

Founder of Droom Sandeep Aggarwal is a serial entrepreneur, angel investor, internet visionary, and philanthropist. He is popularly known as the father of marketplaces in India. He has founded two marketplaces in India so far – ShopClues in 2011 and Droom in 2014.

Aggarwal’s entrepreneurial journey began with ShopClues, which he co-founded with his wife Radhika Aggarwal, and Sanjay Sethi in 2010. Post the insider trading allegations, to safeguard the reputation of ShopClues, Sandeep backed out of the company and went on to launch India’s first online platform for buying and selling automobile - Droom.

How was Droom Started?

Sandeep Aggarwal started Droom in 2014 with the vision to fix the problem of trust in the online used-car business. The platform initially started as an online marketplace for used cars in Delhi. Three months later, it was dealing in used cars and two-wheelers but still in New Delhi.

Exactly one year later, the company was dealing in used cars and two-wheelers across 100 cities of India. And post six months, Droom was all set to provide services like insurance, roadside assistance, warranty inspection to its consumer base. By the time 2018 came, it had automobiles across 48 categories including planes, bicycles, segways, golf carts, and yachts among others. In a short span of five years, they have come far by building the business one step at a time.

Droom - Startup Launch

Digital platform Droom gave its team a lot on its plate with its launch. With 85% of the business coming in from used automobiles, the team grasped that building trust was key to success. Hence as remedial measures, the team went on an extra mile and built not one but four different product modules to address the trust issues of the customers:

The first product module is named Eco. It is an inspection tool that checks a vehicle on various 121 checkpoints before it is certified by the Droom technician.

Orange Book Value is very similar to the Kelley Blue Book in the US. this module uses algorithms to find the fair price of a vehicle based on its make model, insurance, ownership, and condition.

The next product module is where the company rates sellers so that buyers are more informed.

And the last product module offers a thorough history of the vehicles, based on details from companies, insurance providers, and the police which is sectioned under “Droom history”. This has data of over 200 million vehicles from over 1,000 road transport offices in India.

Droom - Business Model and Revenue Model

The Droom business model has four formats i.e. B2C, C2C, C2B and B2B, and three pricing formats - Fixed Price, Best Offer and Auction. The platform offers a wide range of categories from bicycle to plane and all automobile services such as warranty, RSA, insurance and auto loan.

“We are a performance-based marketplace. We don’t charge any one-time payment; we only make money when the seller makes money”, says Droom Owner Sandeep Agarwal.

Droom, at majority makes money from commissions and subscriptions.

On the commission module, there are quite a few variations. The commission varies from 2% to 2.5% for used cars, and 2.5% to 3% for used motorcycles. When it comes to new automobiles, it is 1% to 1.25% or merely a flat booking fee.

15% of the Droom revenue comes from dealer subscriptions that range anywhere between ₹45,000 and INR 1,00,000. The company also provides comprehensive reports on a vehicle to buyers for up to INR 100. All in all, 92% of the used car business comes from B2C, 7% comes from C2C, and the rest comes from B2B.

Droom - Competitors

ZigWheels, CarDekho, and CarTrade are the major Droom competitors in the second-hand automobile segment when it started. But where it had a superior edge was that they developed a market place whereas the existing market players were only in the business of product discovery.

Droom - Name, Tagline and Logo

The tagline of the brand is "Droom - Tu bindaas ghoom"

Droom Logo

The experience offered by Droom is encapsulated in the tagline of the ads, “Miley feeling nai wali” (Gives you the brand new feeling).

Droom - Funding and Investors

Droom is a Singapore Holding Company with subsidiaries in India and the United States. The company has so far raised close to $333 Million over 8 rounds 0f funding. The last funding round of the company came in on July 28, 2021, when it raised around $200 million from 57 Stars, Seven Train Ventures, and some other existing investors.

Droom - Growth and Revenue

In the calendar year 2019, Droom generated $1.3 Billion in annualized GMV and $32 million in net revenue with a growth at a rate of 100% Y/Y.

“We feel this momentum will continue as the auto industry fares better. We hope to achieve $2 billion in GMV this year(2020) and $65 million in net revenue. By next year’s end(2021), we hope to hit $3 billion in GMV,” says Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder & CEO, Droom

Droom has presence in 1000+ cities across India (India’s largest hyper-local marketplace), and boasts of having over 350K auto dealers (largest auto dealer platform in World). Besides, Droom also claims of having:

  • 35 Million+ monthly visitors
  • Around 12 Million+ app downloads and
  • 6.5 Million+ Facebook followers.
  • Furthermore, it has its subsidiaries in India and the United States. The company has so far raised close to $333 Million.

Droom has turned itself into a public limited company from a private limited company, as of August 2021. The company further converted the name of its Indian entity to Droom Technology Limited from Droom Technology Private Limited. The company has reportedly clocked an annual GMV run-rate of $1.7 billion and a net revenue run rate of $54 million. Furthermore, it has also disclosed its plans of touching a GMV of $2 billion and net revenue of $65 million by the end of the current calendar year.

Droom has posted a significant reduction in its losses at Rs 69 crore in FY21, which were posted at Rs 90 crore in FY20. The decline in the revenues of the company, which waned down 25% from Rs 181 crores in FY20 to Rs 136 crore in FY21, notably contributed to reducing the losses of Droom this year.

Droom - Mergers and Acquisitions

In November 2019, Droom acquired Xeraphin Finvest Pvt. Ltd. This acquisition was done with the vision to further strengthen the company's dedicated consumer base and dealer credit marketplace. To date, its credit operations have processed more than 10,000 loans in the last 12 months. Droom has credit and finance partners including IDFC First Bank, Yes Bank, Tata Capital, Manappuram Finance, Faircent, Hero Fincorp, Cashkumar, and Lendbox.

Droom - Awards

DIGIXX Awards recognizes Founder & CEO, Sandeep Aggarwal as Person Of The Year.

  • Founder & CEO, Sandeep Aggarwal has been awarded as the "Digital Entrepreneur of the Year" by Haryana Gaurav Awards
  • Sandeep Aggarwal has been awarded as the "Business Leader of The Year" by World Federation of Marketing Professionals
  • Droom won Silver and Bronze at exchange4media Primetime Award 2017 for Best Creative Advertising
  • Awarded Silver and Bronze in Magzimise Awards 2017
  • Awarded Bronze in the coveted Effie Awards 2018

Droom - Future Plans

At the moment Droom is one of the highly rated used car startups India and only aims to expand further. Droom is looking to replicate its success in the international market, given that it is now eyeing on being listed on Nasdaq or in India by 2022. And that is not where it ends, the company is also looking at a gross revenue of $3 Billion to $3.5 Billion and net revenue of $110-120 Million. With the signed MOU with Toyota, Droom will expand in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos by 2020. The want to be known beyond Droom India.

Droom - FAQs

What is Droom?

Droom is an AI and data science-driven online transactional platform, which offers 21st-century experience in buying and selling used and new automobiles in India and other emerging markets.

How does Droom make money?

Droom at majority makes money from subscriptions and commissions.

15% of Droom’s revenue comes from dealer subscriptions that range anywhere between INR 45,000 and INR 1,00,000.

The commission varies from 2% to 2.5% for used cars

2.5% to 3% for used motorcycles

For new automobiles, it is 1% to 1.25% or merely a flat booking fee.

Who is the founder of Droom?

Sandeep Aggarwal is the founder and CEO of Droom.