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CarDekho is the largest autotech platform in India, providing a transparent marketplace for quality vehicles, loans, and insurance, enabling millions of consumers to unlock opportunities with mobility. 10 Indians buy a policy from InsuranceDekho every minute, and more than 4 million searches for electric vehicles are made on its platforms each month.
For many millions of emerging consumers, mobility is the key that unlocks opportunity.
Mobility dramatically increases school enrolments, improves access to healthcare, broadens employment opportunities, and is a major source of direct employment for many emerging consumers1. This is true across emerging markets; one in six women around the world do not look for work for fear of being harrased in transit2.
In a recent study, 50% of women in Chennai, India reported being sexually harassed whilst travelling on public transport3. In Bangladesh the number is as high as 84%4. A poll conducted by Thomson Reuters Foundation has ranked India as the fourth most unsafe country for women to use public transport5.
Mobility is deeply linked to poverty, and emerging consumers are quick to improve their personal mobility once they can afford it6. Traditionally, however, access to mobility for emerging consumers has been a difficult and fraught experience.
Personal finance is hard to obtain, insurance can be costly, vehicles fail to meet safety and emissions standards, and market pricing is opaque. In India, for instance, 80% of all used car sales happen outside of the showroom, through private sales or informal dealers selling out of garages and online.
There are estimated to be ~30,000 vehicle dealers, and these dealers frequently tamper with odometers or perform rudimentary repairs, fail to facilitate clean title transfers, carry small inventories that offer less choice, and require high margins on vendor-organised finance to compensate for lack of scale and volume. Overall, this leads to low consumer trust7. In this context, supporting increased access to mobility encompasses both delivering financial inclusion through vehicle finance and insurance options, and also delivering quality and consistency to lower-income consumers via more transparent vehicle marketplaces.
1 UNESCAP 2017, Roads to Equal Access: the Role of Transport in Transforming Mobility 2 World Bank, Transport Overview: Development news, research, data 3 AWARE 2017
4 ISB 2019, A Study of Women Harassment in public transports in Bangladesh 5 Thomson Reuters Foundations 2014, YouGov 6 Pramit Bhattacharya; Mint 2016, How much the richest 1% earn and spend 7 2021, Indian Blue Book Pre-Owned Car Market Report
CarDekho is a leading auto-tech and mobility financing company in India, operating auto sales, classifieds, finance, and insurance businesses. It reaches 9.4 million emerging consumers, and a staggering 86% of Indian auto purchasers will visit the platform before buying a vehicle.
CarDekho’s market position gives it enormous power over the story of mobility in India, and in other emerging economies across Southeast Asia where it is expanding its presence. CarDekho’s insurance subsidiary, InsuranceDekho, is one of the largest digital insurance brokers in India. It enables millions of emerging customers to access insurance products and at the same time provides employment to over 41,000 active sales agents with a majority in Tier II cities and beyond.
Three quarters of those who accessed used car finance through CarDekho earn less than $10,000 per year and many other run small businesses and may not have fully documented recurring sources of income.
CarDekho not only improves access to vehicle insurance and finance but has made a concerted effort to improve the quality of vehicles sold on its platform. It provides documentation on each vehicle that validates ownership and accident history.
CarDekho is also enabling India’s transition to EVs, with, more than 4 million searches for EVs conducted across CarDekho’s platforms. Tax incentives and subsidies across Indian states now mean it is realistic that low-income consumers can upgrade traditional petrol and diesel vehicles for EVs, with running costs that are as much as 70% less over the life of the vehicle. The company’s fintech subsidiary Rupyy also provides loans to customers for electric two-wheelers, helping to increase the uptake of these vehicles, while its platforms provide information for those considering EVs, including maps of more than 1606 charging stations across 214 cities.
LeapFrog believes that balancing access to mobility with improvements in transport safety and environmental impact is key to delivering an overall improved quality of life to emerging consumers.
LeapFrog is leveraging its long history and expertise in growing Indian insurance leaders, with prior investments in Mahindra Insurance Brokers and Shriram Group, to enhance the reach of CarDekho’s vehicle insurance products, expand its agency network, and explore opportunities to expand into health and life insurance.
In 2023, LeapFrog assisted with, and participated in a $150m funding round for InsuranceDekho alongside Goldman Sachs and TVS Capital, the largest Series A by an Indian insurtech. Funds raised are earmarked for the company’s expansion into Tier II and Tier III cities in India, as well as for inorganic growth opportunities.
India is on the cusp of making EVs truly affordable, with a range of domestic manufacturers launching affordable EVs in a revolution similar to the proliferation of cheap petrol cars a decade ago. We believe it is important to help CarDekho both grow its reach into the emerging consumer segment, through improved delivery of its finance and insurance products, while also supporting the company to aggressively expand low emission vehicle sales across emerging Asia.
LeapFrog is working with CarDekho on environmental programs across its platform, and to track and target key impact data including average selling prices, vehicle types, % first time buyer, EMI/income ratios and other factors that indicate CarDekho’s products are ever more accessible and affordable to emerging consumers.
Delivering and scaling a trustworthy vehicle marketplace, finance, and insurance experience for Asia’s emerging consumers will tackle many of the mobility access issues faced across the region, empowering people to escape poverty traps and to access new opportunities in employment, education and healthcare.