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Home Startups Nigeria’s Autochek Acquires Car Classifieds Platforms Cheki Kenya & Cheki Uganda in Pan-African Expansion Move

Nigeria’s Autochek Acquires Car Classifieds Platforms Cheki Kenya & Cheki Uganda in Pan-African Expansion Move

by Milcah Lukhanyu
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Autochek, Nigeria’s automotive technology company facilitating auto financing across Africa has acquired ROAM Africa’s (Ringier One Africa Media) automotive marketplaces Cheki Kenya and Cheki Uganda in its pan-African expansion move.

Autochek says the deal will be finalised within the following weeks and Cheki Kenya and Uganda will be integrated into the wider Autochek operations. The Cheki Kenya and Uganda acquisition follows Autochek’s acquisition of Cheki Nigeria and Ghana last year to bolster its West African operations.

According to Etop Ikpe, Founder and CEO of Autochek, “The acquisition of Cheki Kenya and Uganda is an important milestone for us, and we are excited to be working with ROAM Africa once again, building on their achievements over the past years. ROAM Africa has an unrivalled track record of operating and scaling some of Sub-Saharan Africa’s most innovative classified marketplaces and we look forward to leveraging on this solid business foundation”

“Autochek’s mandate is to accelerate the ability of African consumers to access better quality and affordable vehicles by providing access to financing, while also derisking the auto lending process for financial institutions. We are long-time admirers and collaborators of the Cheki brand; following today’s news, we intend to provide even more trust and transparency in East Africa’s automotive sector, leveraging the unique networks we are now joining together.”

Launched in 2020, and backed by notable investors such as  TLcom Capital and 4DX Ventures, Autochek combines technology, underpinned by data analytics to deepen auto finance penetration across the continent. With a presence in  Nigeria and Ghana, the company’s 360-degree automotive solution also provides a strong network of after-sales services that preserves and eases vehicle ownership experience across Africa.

Autochek is taking on now dead cars45 platform across Africa after it sold its operations in Kenya, Ghana, and Nigeria to Jiji, the popular classifieds marketplace that took over OLX SSA from the Naspers Group as Walie Holdings  for an undisclosed amount to help auto buyers and sellers across the three countries where Cars45’s performance was wanting.

According to Anton Volyansky, CEO and co-founder of Jiji: “We are looking forward to creating a new advanced experience for Cars45 users. Undoubtedly, our collaboration on future products and services will bring additional value to the consumers. For Jiji, it’s the first bold step into the transactional business model and an important foundation for building the future of the company.”

With the deal, Cars45 users will benefit from Jiji’s market-leading products in online classifieds. In turn, Cars45 brings a unique O2O car buying and selling service, where cars can safely be sold instantly to dealers or via a consumer marketplace to other consumers.

Together, users in the auto sector can expect a new level of convenience in buying and selling cars, combining online and offline capabilities.

Autochek’s acquisition of East Africa’s leading online auto marketplace is the next step for Autochek as it expands its footprint in the region and continues its mission to provide seamless access to auto financing across the continent. Building on Cheki’s 10 years of experience, Autochek is set to introduce additional technology solutions that will integrate the auto ecosystem as well as increase market adoption for auto loan financing. As part of the agreement, ROAM Africa will transfer ownership and operational control to Autochek.

Founded in 2010, Cheki Kenya has built a network of hundreds of dealers, more than 12,000 vehicles listed monthly and 700,000 monthly unique users on its platform with 80% plus year-on-year growth in the last two years.

Clemens Weitz, CEO of ROAM Africa, says, “Across the world, we see a new evolution of digital automotive platforms, requiring deep specialization. Specifically in Africa, we believe that Autochek is the one player with the best team and expertise to truly create a game-changing consumer experience. Our Cheki team has built a unique, market-leading brand and a truly remarkable business. Most importantly I want to thank everyone in the team who contributed to this success. Now we are excited to see that taken to the next level. Whilst this is good news for everyone directly involved, the ultimate benefactor will be African car buyers and sellers.”

“For ROAM Africa, this deal is more than a very good transaction: It unleashes even more focus on the strategic playbook for our core businesses. We have a clear strategy that will further strengthen our leading marketplaces and invest into innovative product solutions. The opportunity is now bigger than ever, since the pandemic has vastly accelerated digitization across the continent. In the last two years, our businesses recorded unprecedented growth. Thus, our commitment to connect Africans to opportunities remains strong.”

With credit penetration in Kenya at 27.5%, significantly higher than the West African market which stands at 5%, East Africa’s growing market is positioned as a key auto financing hub and Autochek is now strategically positioned to scale as it becomes a pan-African player.

ROAM Africa remains committed to connecting Africans to opportunities and will focus on strengthening the autonomy of its existing portfolio companies across East and West African countries such as Jobberman.com in Nigeria and Ghana, BrighterMonday.co.ke, Brightermonday.co.ug, Expat Dakar.com, BuyRentKenya.com and others.

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