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Droom

Model: Make it easy, Marketplace, The re-economy
Value: Current

Droom is a marketplace for used and new automobiles.The company facilitates online transactions by creating tools that help create trust between buyers and sellers. Best-selling tools include Orange Book Value, an algorithmic pricing engine that suggests a fair value for a used vehicle and Droom History, India’s largest repository and background check on an automobiles' history. Droom has offices in Gurgaon and Silicon Valley.

Inside story

I remember the first time Sandeep Aggarwal called me to tell me about his new idea, Droom (‘To dream’ in Dutch). I knew then that if Sandeep was starting something new, we had to be involved. We’ve known Sandeep from the time he started Shopclues. There was no Lightbox then. But as a group of individuals, the now Lightbox partners made an angel investment in his vision, his passion and his determination to succeed. And through that investment, we built a relationship, a friendship, based on trust and mutual respect.

So, when Sandeep called, you can imagine I was all ears. Partly because it had to do with cars, but mostly because it was Sandeep. In fact, it was Sandeep 2.0 - along with the passion, the vision and the determination, now came a battle tested entrepreneur with a tremendous amount of exposure and experience in the Indian market and in scaling businesses.

Outside of Sandeep though, I understood very little about opportunity and he was looking at a large round with a sizable investment from us. Now that we’ve done the deal, I can tell you it was a major decision for us. Droom is the largest series A bet we’ve ever made. And since it was such a big deal for us, I thought this was an ideal opportunity to walk you through how we decide to make investments in general.

When we dive into prospective investments, we normally ask the same 3 core ques-tions. First, Does the space excite us? Second, how differentiated in the model? Finally, is the founder someone we want to work with - this last one is so critical for us. As a fund, we maintain a very small number of investments, mainly so we can work closely with our entrepreneurs. If we can’t see ourselves being able to create a long term partnership with the founder, its very difficult to make the investment - irrespective of how promising the deal looks.

Quickly, let me tell you what Droom does - It’s an online marketplace to buy, sell and service used automobiles.

Okay, let’s talk about how we dissected Droom!

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  • Year of investment

    2015

  • Location

    New Delhi

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From left to right: Sandeep Aggarwal, Rishabh Malik, co-founders at Droom with Sandeep Murthy, Sid and Radhika Aggarwal (CEO at ShopClues)

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Business models

Why we created Droom

Sandeep Aggarwal
30th July 2015

We have a culture of fundamentally solving problems. We place huge emphasis on speed to market and the power of prototyping. It is almost impossible to get everything right.

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