How This IIT Delhi Alumnus Drove A Used Car Company To A ₹14,500 Cr Valuation

Niraj Singh’s journey is a testament to resilience. Hailing from Daltonganj, Jharkhand, Singh was a star student, acing his school and clearing the IIT exam twice to join IIT Delhi. But 2011 marked a shift in his streak of successes, leading to the shutdown of his two startups in 2014 and the loss of his father.

What to know? In a moment of introspection, Singh identified a gap in the second-hand car market – a sector ripe with aspiration but plagued with issues of quality and trust. This insight led to the birth of Spinny in 2015, a venture aimed at revolutionizing the used car experience. Singh started by facilitating customer-to-customer sales through verified listings and process monitoring. By 2016, Spinny had sold 350 cars, earning ₹14 crore.

Early success attracted a ₹7 crore investment from Blume Ventures, enabling Spinny to expand into Delhi NCR and Bangalore. The company’s 5-day money-back guarantee and one-year warranty plan were instant hits. However, 2017 brought realization and challenges. Despite selling over 900 cars, Spinny faced losses and stiff competition.

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Undeterred, Singh pivoted Spinny’s model and even mortgaged his house to pay salaries. The revised strategy focused on direct sales, ensuring long-term customer value. The gamble paid off. Spinny’s sales rebounded to 3750 cars by 2020, and substantial investments followed, with the company raising ₹270 crore.

Recognizing the need for higher margins, Singh again pivoted in 2021, refurbishing cars and entering the luxury market. This move, coupled with innovations like contactless buying and home deliveries, propelled Spinny to sell 7200 cars amid the pandemic. Investments soared, with Spinny raising ₹1,200 crore from major players like Tiger Global.

Today, Spinny is a unicorn with a valuation of ₹14,500 crore, boasting a revenue of ₹3,000 crore. Last year, it sold 66,564 cars and operated 36 car hubs across 15 cities. Singh’s story is not just about building a successful business; it’s about the relentless pursuit of innovation and excellence in the face of adversity.

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