Cars24 Founder Vikram Chopra said the company’s IPO is still at a “concept stage”.
The confirmation comes nearly a year after Business Insider and Bloomberg, among others, reported that India’s biggest online marketplace for used automobiles was aiming to hit the markets in 18-24 months. According to the Bloomberg report, the company was also in talks to raise $350 million from SoftBank and others.
The company has more than half a billion dollars in the bank, Chopra told BQ Prime. The layoffs, that were reported at the company, of around 600 people, were “genuinely performance-linked exits that happen every year”.
Still, Chopra said, the environment has made him realise that over time, a number of inefficiencies have crept in to the company. “I always thought I’m running the ship very tightly. When I step back and the slowdown forced me to look, I saw many inefficiencies.”
For instance, Chopra said, when somebody buys a car using their platform, they were allowing credit card checkout. “For something like a car, that’s worth Rs 6 lakh, that’s a Rs 6,000-10,000 payment charges that we were just paying. That’s a big amount! We were letting that leakage through our system.”
Chopra detailed a few more such “leakages” he was forced to detect and fix amid a time that’s being acknowledged as a “funding winter”.
“We also used to do the title transfer and charge one flat fee. That fee, however, is a function of specific requirements. For example if you’re taking a loan on the car, then you’re not just getting the title transferred, you’re also getting the RC hypothecated. That’s an extra charge we were ignoring.”
He also spoke about lowering stringent air-conditioning cooling standards for used cars and shutting down extra studios that did comprehensive photo shoots for cars.