CarDekho’s scale nears Rs 1,600 Cr in FY22, used cars form 50% income


New and used car buying platform CarDekho has managed to grow its scale at a decent pace and crossed Rs 1,600 crore in revenue during FY22. Like most startups in the category, growth has come at a high cost and it’s no different from CarDekho which spent Rs 2,170 crore to achieve an 81% uptick in its collections.

CarDekho’s gross revenue (revenue from operations) grew 80.7% to Rs 1,597 crore during the fiscal year ending March 2022 as compared to Rs 884 crore in FY21, according to the company’s annual financial statements with the Registrar of Companies (RoC).


CarDekho has multiple revenue streams around the sale and purchase of used cars. Used cars remain the largest source of revenue accounting for 50% of the overall operating income. These collections surged 63.4% to Rs 799 crore in FY22.

CarDekho provides marketing services through its platforms such as Bikedekho, Pricedekho, Zigwheels, Gaadi, OTO, and Insurance Dekho. It runs promotional campaigns through the website and mobile applications, subscriptions, and lead based services. Collection from these (advertising and digital marketing solutions) services surged 2X to Rs 505 crore in FY22.


The company also provides lead generation and transaction facilitation services to used car dealers selling cars to end users on its platform. Commission earned from these sales surged 122.6% to Rs 217 crore during the last fiscal. It also earns brokerage from insurance companies on insurance policy placement which increased 60% to Rs 48 crore during the same period.

Moreover, the company provides a slew of other services such as designing, prototyping, and testing of structural components for automotive industries as well as providing online and offline platforms for the auction of automobiles, and software development services. It cornered Rs 28 crore from service fees, software development, consulting, call center, and other services. 

Other than operating income, CarDekho also earned Rs 48.83 crore from interest on investments and other non-operating income which took its total revenue to Rs 1,646 crore in FY22.

Moving toward the expense side, the cost of acquiring used vehicle stock accounted for 37.6% of the total expenses. This cost grew nearly 70% to Rs 816.8 crore in FY22 from Rs 481.5 crore in FY21. Spending on employee benefits surged 31.8% to Rs 573 crore in FY22 from Rs 434.7 crore in FY21. Importantly, this cost also includes employee share based payment of Rs 76.74 crore.


Further, customer acquisition and outsourced support (manpower) cost shot up 2.3X and 3.3X respectively to Rs 408 crore and Rs 156.8 crore in FY22. The company also incurred Rs 24.4 crore and Rs 27.6 crore on server hosting and legal & professional charges which steered its total expenses up by 70% to Rs 2,170 crore during the last fiscal year. During FY21, the total expenses stood at Rs 1,277 crore.

Significantly, CarDekho booked Rs 289 crore as gain on the loss of control in subsidiary, considering this, the company’s losses contracted by 28% to Rs 246 crore. Entrackr has excluded this while calculating the overall losses because this is a non-cash expense in nature.

CarDekho’s losses went up 56% to Rs 535 crore in FY22 as against Rs 343 crore in FY21. The company’s cash outflows from operations stood at Rs 663 crore.

With an over 80% surge in revenue, CarDekho’s EBITDA margin and ROCE improved to -28.63% and -25.71% in FY22. On a unit level, the company spent Rs 1.36 to earn a rupee of operating revenue. Meanwhile, its outstanding losses stood at Rs 1,290 crore in FY22.


CarDekho’s rival Cars24 registered 87% growth in scale to Rs 5,136 crore during FY22 while its losses inclined 29% to Rs 248 crore. CarDekho joined the coveted unicorn club in October 2021 after raising $250 million in a Series E round led by private investment firm LeapFrog Investments. Last year, the company also fired employees across junior and mid-senior levels.

The firms in the category face the peculiar prospect of a smaller firm that has gone public, in the shape of CarTrade, and going on to queer the market for everyone with its terrible stock performance subsequently. CarDekho, as one of the early movers and stronger players in the segment, will probably target profitability in this financial year.  However, with its core used cars business still treading very thin margins, it has to crack open some of the other areas it has moved into, and fast.

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