Online automotive website CarWale has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Axel Springer AG and their Indian partners, the India Today Group, for the sale of 70.4 per cent stake in CarWale.
Having agreed to acquire over 70 per cent of the equity in CarWale, Axel Springer and the India Today Group together will hold the leading position in one of India’s leading online businesses, as well as in the Indian automotive media segment.
Speaking on the acquisition, Ralph Buechi, President, Axel Springer International at Axel Springer AG, said, “India already has more Internet users than Germany, and with a booming auto industry, our investment in CarWale couldn’t have come at a better time. Along with our partners, the India Today Group, this investment signifies the next growth step for us in a dynamic and fast growing market, and is in line with our pursuit of a digitisation and internationalisation strategy.”
Mohit Dubey, CEO and Co-founder of CarWale, commented, “We are delighted to become a part of the Axel Springer Group and also associate with the India Today Group. With Axel Springer’s international automotive and multimedia publishing experience, and the India Today Group’s un-matched credibility in India, this partnership will help CarWale take the next step towards becoming India’s most influential automotive destination.”
Ashish Bagga, CEO, India Today Group, added here, “We are delighted with this acquisition. CarWale is the number one player in the online car domain in India. This is in line with our leadership position in the Indian media space and fits well with our expansion into the online business. We see strong synergies with our content, eCommerce initiatives and media assets.”
CarWale was founded in 2005 with the backing of Seedfund, India’s leading early-stage venture fund. In 2008, CarWale completed a Series A round of funding with Sierra Ventures, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm with $1.5 billion under management.
Axel Springer AG, with revenues of $3.6 billion, is one of Europe’s leading multimedia corporations and owners of ‘Auto Bild’, the world’s biggest selling automotive magazine. The India Today Group is India’s largest magazine publisher and owner of Hindi news channel Aaj Tak. The two corporations have been jointly publishing the Indian edition of ‘Auto Bild’ since 2008.