Car portal CarDekho has launched 3 websites in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu languages. Instead of using the Google translate algorithm to translate into multiple languages, the company claims that it built a new platform to translate all the content on its English site, because the site did not support a multi-lingual and multi-regional capability.
The company says that it chose these three languages since they’re the most widely spoken in the country. Readers would like to note, however, that by the number of people who speak the languages, the top 3 spoken languages in India are Hindi, Bengali and Telugu in that order, as reported by the 2001 census. CarDekho claims that it has crossed over 150 million visits in the previous fiscal year.
BuyingIQ acquisition: Last month, CarDekho acquired price comparison website BuyingIQ. Girnarsoft, which operates CarDekho, PriceDekho and BikeDekho, said that it bought BuyingIQ for the team and their technology. BuyingIQ claimed to serve over 1.2 million users every month through its website and android app.
Gaadi acquisition: In September last year, CarDekho bought Ibibo’s automobile website Gaadi.com for a reported $11 million. Jain had said then that this acquisition would enable them to focus on pre-owned car business which then accounted for only 10% of their revenues. Ibibo had acquired majority stake in Gaadi.com from Accentium Web in February 2011.
Funding from Ratan Tata and Sequoia Capital
Founded in 2008 by Amit Jain, GirnarSoft raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Ratan Tata in February this year. The financial details of the deal and the percentage of stake were not disclosed. In January, it raised funding worth $50 million led by Hillhouse Capital, Tybourne Capital and participation from Sequoia Capital in January this year, valuing the portal at $300 million. Previously, the company had also raised $15 million from Sequoia Capital for a reported 20% stake in 2013.
Other Indic language launches
The Indic language scene on the Internet has been slowly but positively growing over the last couple of years. The fact that it makes available content to non-English speakers or even those who prefer consuming content in Indic languages adds to expansion of its user base. However, questions such as the searchability of Indic content and its distribution remain.
– In March this year, Times Internet-owned CouponDunia tied up with Hindi news portal Raftaar.in to offer online coupons in Hindi. The coupons would be available on a separate webpage on Raftaar at coupons.raftaar.in. Raftaar mentioned that it uses natural language processing to dynamically translate the coupons’ content in Hindi to make them more user friendly.
– In the same month, Former Bloomberg TV India’s founder & editor-in-chief Govindraj Ethiraj’s 3-year-old data centric news & analysis portal IndiaSpend.com launched a Hindi version of the site in beta. The primary reason for starting a Hindi site was to reach out to a wider audience, said Ethiraj. Interestingly, the site uses Indic URLs for each article, unlike some of the other Indic language news portals like Dainik Bhaskar, ManoramaOnline and OneIndia that continue to use English URLs. Kannada news portal Udayavani also uses Indic URLs.
– In March last year, social bookmarking site Pinterest introduced a Hindi language version of its site in a possible bid to reach out to the Hindi-speaking audience in the country and elsewhere in the world.