Autochek, a car marketplace set to launch in October and founded by former Cars45 CEO Etop Ikpe has confirmed our report that it acquired ROAM Africa (Ringier One Africa Media)’s car marketplaces Cheki Nigeria and Cheki Ghana, to build a seamless and safe automotive commerce experience across Africa, starting with Nigeria and Ghana.
There have been reports about how and why Etop Ikpe and a team of top executives left Cars45 in Nigeria but this announcement ends the week-long speculations on what the former Cars45 CEO is up to.
According to Etop Ikpe, CEO of Autochek, the Cheki brand is well established in Nigeria and Ghana, and Autochek looks to building on the solid work that the Cheki team has done over the last ten years in reinventing how car purchases are made.
“We are really excited by this new opportunity to drive the African automotive space forward. Our aim is to create a one-stop shop for consumers’ automotive needs, embedding technology at every stage of the process, thereby making the journey of car ownership easier for everyone,” Ikpe said. “Our goal is to continue the great work, as well as expand operations into other African territories from 2021 onwards.”
Ikpe who has worked in the tech industry for a while and in automotive marketplaces says he has identified several challenges in the car purchase market on the continent, and Autochek will help address those gaps.
Autochek plans to use technology to transform the automotive buying and selling experience for African consumers, by creating a single marketplace for consumers’ automotive needs, from sourcing and financing to after-sales support and warranties.
Autochek also aims to address auto financing by making it more accessible to consumers across Africa. The firm is working to standardise solutions around warranties and maintenance, to enable dealers to offer these services more readily to consumers.
TechMoran.com is yet to establish if this was a stock or cash deal or both but ROAM, Cheki’s parent company has transferred ownership and operational control to Autochek, and all Cheki Nigeria and Cheki Ghana outlets will now be rebranded as Autochek. Staff in both operations will remain intact including Cheki Nigeria’s current CEO, Chimezie Okonkwo.
Cheki Kenya is not part of the transaction and remains fully owned and operated by ROAM.
“With Autochek, we have found a company and founding team that will carry on the incredible results Cheki has achieved in Nigeria and Ghana over the last decade in developing a specialist car marketplace, loved and trusted by both car buyers and sellers,” said Clemens Weitz, CEO of ROAM Africa. “Etop and his team have an outstanding record of success in the African automotive market and we are excited to be handing over these assets to them, ensuring continuity of service as we migrate the platforms over. We are also pleased that the Autochek team is committed to working collaboratively with the existing Cheki team and long-term partners. We look forward to seeing all the success they will achieve together”