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Sequoia partnered CarDekho when it was still a modestly sized company.

Shailesh and Amit tell the story of this investment partnership - from the early days to today when it’s a credible market leader.

Amit Jain
CarDekho

Anurag and I started around 2007, setting up around ten portals in two years. I’m essentially a coder with good SEO and social media skills. I leveraged those to get traffic to the sites. Some of the portals showed traction; others failed. Cardekho performed the best and so we zeroed in on that. By 2010, we started getting noticed by investors.

Shailesh Lakhani
Sequoia

We tried to meet Amit several times. When we finally did, after spending about 10 minutes with him we knew Sequoia should want to be in business with him. He was the perfect combination of world-class tech skills, and the ability to build and manage an offline sales force. A combination that is very rare but super valuable.

Amit Jain

We had about 200 odd people at Cardekho when I first met Shailesh. But we were very frugal. Shailesh flew down to Jaipur to see us and that impressed me. I also liked the fact that Sequoia was not trying to over-optimize on value.

Shailesh Lakhani

At our first board meeting, it was the two founders and I sitting around a table. I felt a little nervous at the end. We had a good product, but not enough of a team to make the business work. And competition was starting to catch-up. But there were signs that this could prove to be a good investment. Amit was learning, and learning fast, and very open to inputs on what to try.

Amit Jain

The money from Sequoia was supposed to be spent over three years but I went to the Board soon after the term sheet and asked for permission to spend it all the same year. We had not spent on marketing as yet and we needed that big push to get us to the next level. Sequoia encouraged me to spend it on television and the results were phenomenal.

Shailesh Lakhani

They were the first in their segment to conduct a mass media campaign. We had helped them recruit the best marketing talent in the country and that team conceptualized and executed a robust and aggressive marketing plan. The campaign increased their visibility, gave them significant customer traction and helped make them a more credible company.

Amit Jain

Shailesh played a pivotal role in shaping the way I approached the Gaadi.com acquisition (another automotive company) in 2013. The deal helped create an ecosystem around us and I found a great partner in Umang, Gaadi.com’s founder. So things have moved much faster since then. Sequoia helped us tremendously on the legal and accounting aspects of this transaction.

Shailesh Lakhani

For someone doing it for the first time, these large-scale corporate negotiations and actions can be overwhelming. If you have a trusted partner handling them, it saves you time and gives you peace of mind.

Amit Jain

There are now twenty entrepreneurs running the company and working together to build valuation. That’s what excites me. Shailesh has backed me at every step of the journey with advice and help. He encouraged me to think of Cardekho as a much bigger company. I have grown too as a result. I am not the founder he first met.

Shailesh Lakhani

At the last board meeting, we were in a big room – and managers from different areas were giving us ten minute updates. From where we first started with them to where they now are, it’s night and day.

Cardekho
CarDekho is a poppular auto portal that lists new and used cars in India and offers to-the-minute auto insights from around the world.
Milestones
  • Founded 2006
  • Partnered 2013
Founders
  • Amit Jain
  • Anurag Jain
Investment Advisor