Indonesian media conglomerate Emtek Group has sold its 30 per cent holding in Indonesian automotive website OTO.com to the company’s majority shareholder, Indian automobile classifieds major Cardekho, for $7 million.
The transaction was disclosed in Emtek’s Q3 2019 financial report, which stated that “KMK [Emtek subsidiary] sold all 2,700,305 shares in CSI [Carbay Services Indonesia, legal company behind OTO.com] to third parties for a total of US$7 million.”
Though the report did not specify the identity of the buyer, OTO.com in a recent interview with DealStreetAsia confirmed that Emtek’s shares had been acquired by Cardekho, giving the latter full ownership of the Jakarta-based startup.
In an email to DealStreetAsia, Emtek said the transaction was part of a share-swap agreement with Cardekho, which sees Emtek acquiring a stake in Cardekho’s global entity.
“We are interested to have exposure to Cardekho’s operations in India, where they are market leader with end-to-end products and services in automotive sector, and also other regional expansions that they are currently doing,” the company said.
Founded in 2015, OTO.com was formed as a joint venture between CarDekho and Emtek subsidiary KMK Online, with a 70:30 per cent share split. The launch of the company in 2016 marked CarDekho Group’s foray into Southeast Asia.
The portal provides consumers with car and motorbike research sections providing information about prices, specifications, features, pictures, reviews and road tests of various models.
It also allows users to compare multiple models and provide the latest information about the launch of new car and motorcycle, change in their price and other relevant updates from the automobile industry.
Leveraging Cardekho’s technical expertise and Emtek’s local resources and networks, the company claims to have grown to become the leading automotive website in the country.
Following Emtek’s exit last year, OTO.com moved to acquire local automotive website Carvaganza, as well as its subsidiaries Motovaganza and Autovaganza for an undisclosed amount late last year.
Through the deal with Carvaganza, which has a close association with auto enthusiasts in the country, OTO.com said it expects to strengthen its position and reach to help the consumer, bank, multi finance, OEM, group dealer and aftermarket industry.
CarDekho has so far raised over $190 million in capital from a range of global and Indian investors. These include prominent names such as marquee venture capitalist Sequoia Capital, global Asia-focused PE firm Hillhouse Capital, CapitalG (formerly known as Google Capital), and Hong Kong-based Tybourne Capital, besides India’s HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, Times Internet, Ratan Tata, and Trifecta.
CarDekho is focused on building a complete ecosystem platform of new cars and used cars in every country it is planning to foray in. So far, it has operations in markets such as Malaysia, the Philippines and even UAE apart from India and Indonesia.
For Emtek, the latest deal with Cardekho could be the first of more exits to come for the media giant, which has been investing in tech startups from its balance sheet since 2013.
One of its earliest portfolio companies, e-commerce unicorn Bukalapak, had reportedly been in merger talks with Alibaba-backed Lazada, though the reports were denied by the company. Meanwhile, payment company DANA, one of Emtek’s more recent tech investments through a JV with China’s Alipay, is also said to be in the process of being acquired by ride-hailing decacorn Grab, with the plan of merging it with its partly-owned mobile payment company OVO. According to our sources, the deal could materialise as soon as the first quarter of 2020.
One near-exit for Emtek last year was the cancelled ASX IPO of proptech company PropertyGuru, “due to uncertainty in the current IPO market.” However, the company, which is also backed by TPG Capital LP and KKR & Co. among others, said it could make another attempt to go public as soon as 2020 if market conditions are conducive.