If you live in India and have recently shopped for a new or use vehicle, then chances are you stumbled upon the online auto portal known as CarDekho.com. The website, which is the 286th most visited in India, according to Alexa.com statistics, is owned by GirnarSoft, who happens to own a number of online vehicle shopping portals.
Today it was announced that GirnarSoft has acquired, in an all cash deal, the 6-year-old virtual reality startup, Volob Technologies. One might wonder at first what a vehicle portal company such as GirnarSoft would want with a VR firm such as Volob. After all, what does virtual reality have to do with selling cars, right? In fact, numerous auto manufacturers and dealers are already in the process of testing these new technologies as ways to provide potential buyers with a more immersive look at the vehicles they are interested in, all while sitting in their home. Volob Technologies has been providing 3D visualization solutions to a number of companies over the last 5-6 years, with the majority of them actually being within the auto industry.
“Visual experience is an important element in assessing a car or bike,” explained Amit Jain, co-founder and CEO, CarDekho.com. “Volob has proven expertise in the virtual content. CarDekho.com’s acquisition of Volob is aimed at amplifying the visual experience of car buyers in both real and virtual settings. GirnarSoft has enriched its value proposition for online buyers, dealers and OEMs.”
In fact CarDekho has already implemented 360-degree images within their vehicle sales pages, allowing users to scroll within their browser window in order to change the viewing angle of a particular vehicle’s interior and exterior. This feature was added following the company’s acquisition of Drishya360s, but now the company wants to add in the ability to make such images and perhaps even videos compatible with virtual reality headsets, providing an even more immersive experience to potential buyers.
“Volob blends creativity and engineering to create 3D visualization in real-time. Joining CarDekho.com will help us provide solutions which can enable automotive industry deliver life-like experiences to car buyers across multiple touchpoints,” stated Tarun Kumar, founder of Volob Technologies.
Clearly this is a move on the part of GirnarSoft to get a leg up on the competition before other companies begin integrating VR into their own business models. Let’s hear your thoughts on this acquisition in the CarDekho VR forum on VRTalk.com.