Sandeep Aggrawal, CEO & Founder, Droom and ShopClues.com
Sandeep Aggarwal is an angel investor, serial entrepreneur, philanthropist and Internet visionary. In April 2014, Sandeep started Droom, India’s first marketplace to buy and sell used and new automobiles. Droom is a completely disruptive business that is creating unpanelled trust and pricing advantage for buyers. Prior to Droom, Sandeep founded ShopClues.com, India’s first and largest managed marketplace in his house in California in late 2010 and moved to India to launch it as to empower 15 million SME sellers and unstructured categories e.g. fashion, home/kitchen etc. online. Sandeep founded, ShopClues in an era when all the other E-Commerce companies in India were inventory-led models.With 17 years of global experience in business operations, strategy and investment, focusing on Internet and technology and prior to founding Droom and ShopClues, Sandeep was among the most renowned Internet analysts on Wall Street based out of Silicon Valley, providing research coverage on Google, Yahoo!, eBay, Amazon, Netflix, Priceline, Microsoft, MakeyMyTrip etc. Prior to being an analyst Sandeep worked in strategy roles with senior leadership team at Microsoft in Seattle and Schwab.com in San Francisco. Sandeep has an MBA from Washington University in St. Louise, USA. Sandeep is chartered member of TiE Silicon Valley and holds one US patent. In conversation with Dominic Rebello he reflects on the way forward for businesses such as his in India.
What drives you?
I look for attributes with high energy, passion and long-term vision while investing in new ventures. Founders need to be strongly motivated by a cause, as opposed to those driven by quick money, have the vision to identify an addressable opportunity and the clarity of purpose for optimum thematic leverage. I believe technology plays an extremely pivotal role in creating winning ventures, and supports founders who believe in frugality and economic effort as a means to achieve success.
How big is the potential for a business like yours? Any statistics to compare with international standards?
We are the biggest used car transaction platform in India and we want to continue the dominance. Droom, the used car marketplace, is planning to expand to 100 cities within the next month. The company has been ahead of schedule in revenue generation, its founder claimed, adding it was a natural progression. The company recorded revenue of Rs 36 crore in December 2015, with Rs 32 crore coming from the National Capital Region alone.
How do you plan to scale up; raise funds through seed or venture capital or simply grow the old fashioned way through rising turnovers?
Droom has raised $16 million (INR 100 crore) funding in Series A led by Lightbox. The company will use funds to add 20 automobile and 12 service categories hosting over 50,000 sellers and 200k listings in the next 18-24 months. Droom also plans to expand into South East Asia by early 2016. The first round of funding for Droom was led by BEENOS. The recent investment from Lightboxand participation by all of our existing major investors allows us to aggregate the automobile industry at a scale which has not been achieved so far by anyone.
Who would primarily be your consumer audience?
Anyone who is willing to buy or sell an automobile and looking for automobile services is our consumer audience. Basically, we have C2B (consumer to business) marketplace format, called QuickSell, which further enables consumers to sell their used vehicles to auto dealers with a quick turnaround of the transaction. The sellers can upload a quick listing of their vehicles, receive offers from interesting buyers and accept the most feasible option to sell it online. Our audience falls in every category which is B2C, C2B, C2C and several automobile dealers.
Where do you see Droom five years down the road?
We feel droom has built and will continue to build a truly 21st century experience to buy and sell used automobiles online in India. We have opportunity to capture 50%+ of the total automobile market online in India. We are working very hard and believe that by 2020, Droom will be a global name and will be operating in 3 to 4 continents and in 15-20 countries.