Michael Welch OBE, the Blackcircles.com founder who sold the UK online tyre retailer to Michelin in 2015 for £50 million, has invested in India online tyre retailer, Tyremarket.com.
One of the leading players in the fast-growing online tyre retail market in India, Tyremarket.com is set to raise funds from UK and local investors in 2018 as it continues its strategic push to reach the top spot in one of the largest developing tyre markets.
Michael Welch has a “significant” share in the business and now sits on the board and is a strategic adviser. As a cofounding director of Full Circle Partners, he and the team will also lead the team through the investment round that will support their next phase of growth.
Mike and Tyremarket’s founding directors have invested in the region of £500k in the latest round.
Led by former Siemens Healthcare engineering executive, Sanjeev Agrawal, Tyremarket.com is well positioned to benefit from a number of macro factors including strong projected growth for India’s overall economy, a tyre replacement market characterised by high fragmentation and inefficiencies and domestic vehicle ownership growing by around 7 per cent per annum.
By 2020, EY predicts that there will be almost 750 million internet users in India with average household income rising 40% in the 4 years to 2020. Market research also indicates that towards 30 per cent of all payments will be made digitally by 2020, with PWC estimating that online spending will exceed $125 billion. India is already the second largest internet user in the world with around 400 million active mobile internet users and, with the cost of smartphones and data plans on the decrease, already has the second largest number of smartphones worldwide.
Sanjeev Agrawal, CEO and co-founder of Tyremarket.com, said: “Indian consumers are becoming more value aware and better informed about their choices. Our strategy to provide more tyre choices, more installation partners and great value is starting to pay real dividends. With the help of our early investors we have created an exciting platform from which we can invest wisely to ensure our position as the leading online platform for tyre business in India”.
Tyremarket.com operates a lean business model similar to UK market leader Blackcircles.com. Zero warehousing, low logistics costs and a rapidly growing nationwide network of sellers and fitting partners combined with the leveraging of existing industry relationships and enhanced buying power means Tyremarket.com can offer motorists the most compelling proposition in the Indian online tyre market.
Michael Welch OBE, strategic adviser to Tyremarket.com, said: “Tyremarket.com has a fantastic opportunity to be the market leader for tyres in India. Its team, vision and ambition are second to none and I’m delighted to be able to help them in their goal to become India’s go-to resource for all things tyres.”