EXCLUSIVE: Droom has big plans for 2020 – be a unicorn, raise pre-IPO funds, and expand to 9 new countries

  • In an interview with Business Insider, Sandeep Aggarwal said that the company has clocked $1.2 billion in GMV and $32 million in net revenue.
  • By 2021, when the company achieves $3 billion GMV, Aggarwal aims to list on NASDAQ.
  • They will also be extending their offerings – by foraying into luxury cars, agricultural equipment and OEMs etc.
While the auto industry in India is buckling under a slowdown, auto marketplace platform Droom’s revenues grew by 90%.

In an interview with Business Insider, Sandeep Aggarwal said that the company has clocked $1.2 billion in gross merchandise value (GMV) and $32 million in net revenue in 2019 calendar year.

“We feel this momentum will continue as the auto industry fares better. We hope to achieve $2 billion in GMV this year and $65 million in net revenue. By next year’s end, we hope to hit $3 billion in GMV,” he said.

But how is the company achieving these numbers even as Indian economy is in recovery mode? “Because online is only 1% of the total automobile industry. Other companies had a heavy exposure to ‘new’ and ‘cars’. We sell bicycles, scooters, buses, jeeps, tractors… everything and we sell 98% used,” said Aggarwal.

Speaking of competition like CarDekho, Cars24, he said that Droom is the only pure play internet company while others offer offline services as well.

A NASDAQ IPO

By 2021, when the company achieves its $3 billion GMV target, Aggarwal aims to list on NASDAQ. And, it has been a very calculated step from the very beginning. “We have taken a lot of measures. We are a Singapore incorporated company, we had a Big 4 auditor from the first day, the corporate governance and board structure has been done keeping IPO in mind,” he said.

Before they head for IPO, Droom which has been circling around the unicorn status has plans to cross the valuation mark. “This year, we will be raising our last round of capital which will be the pre-IPO round, with that we have a valuation of over $1 billion,” he said.

Massive expansion spree

As it switches on to the pre-IPO mode, Droom is also planning geographical expansion. It is already present in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand along with an R&D centre in the US called Droom Lab Inc.

“In the next 18 months, we will expand to Indonesia, Vietnam and Philippines and then six countries in the Middle East. After that, we will plan our European expansion,” he said.

They will also be extending their offerings – by foraying into luxury cars, agricultural equipment and OEMs etc.

Lessons from the past

Aggarwal is not new to building billion dollar companies. He was also the founder of the e-commerce unicorn – Shopclues, a company from which he parted ways after a public spat with his co-founder and wife Radhika Aggarwal. Shopclues was recently sold to Singaporean e-commerce entity Qoo10.

“Since the end of 2015, I have not spent a single day in that company. It was a prime asset but it needed a lot of innovation, vision, world class management team and a differentiation factor in e-commerce,” he said.

Even before Shopclues, Aggarwal had 150 company ideas that he worked upon, till he finally built not just one unicorn but two successful startups. Ask him about the tricks of the trade and he recollects a time, when he was in college and got 40 rejections from companies only to get 7 job offers.

“First, you need to have a desire to build something. Having worked with Fortune 500 companies in the US, I saw a lot of scale and then maybe, I just got lucky,” he says with a laugh.

See Also:
Watch Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma explain how his startup will turn a profit in the next two years after 10 years of losses
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