Nigeria’s Autochek acquires Cheki Kenya and Uganda from ROAM Africa – TechCrunch


Nigerian automotive technology company Autochek today announced the acquisition of Cheki Kenya and Uganda from Ringier One Africa Media (ROAM) for an undisclosed amount..

According to a statement, Autochek the deal will be finalized in the next few weeks. With the acquisition, Autochek completes its expansion into East Africa and follows the first acquisition made almost a year ago. when it acquired the Nigerian and Ghanaian companies from Cheki.

In 2010, Cheki was launched as a classified online car for private dealers, importers and sellers in Nigeria. The Lagos-based startup expanded its operations to Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe..

Cheki was acquired by ROAM in 2017 and joined a list of online and classified marketplaces on their network as Jobberman.

According to the ROAM website, Cheki still has operations in Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Nevertheless, these markets are quite inactive, so it is safe to say that Autochek has completely acquired everything Cheki’s main operations.

Cheki Kenya is an interesting market for both parties. The subsidiary has 700,000 users and lists more than 12,000 vehicles monthly. It also claims to have grown 80% year-on-year in the past two years, making it a valuable asset to Autochek’s regional expansion plan.

“Cheki Kenya has always been something of a jewel in the crown“Autochek CEO Etop Case told TechCrunch. “At the time, when we completed the acquisition of Nigeria and Ghana, it was not a conscious effort to make this happen, but it’s great that it happened.. “

Credit penetration in terms of Vehicle financing is higher in Kenya than in Nigeria and Ghana. The East African country has a penetration of 27.5% compared to the entire West African market at 5%. Therefore, it explains why Autochek is optimistic about the East African market. Before making the acquisition, the year-long company ran a stealth pilot with some banks in Kenya, a similar strategy used in Ghana and Nigeria, to provide financing to car owners.. So the acquisition consolidates the company’s position in the market, says Ikpe.

The sale of Cheki’s operations in all of its major markets, which occurred within a year, might lead some to wonder if the four entities fared poorly and forced the classifieds giant to quickly find a suitable buyer.

But CEO Ikpe refuted any claims of an emergency sale when asked. He stated that the acquisition came in quick succession because both parties understood that the classifieds model (led by Cheki) needed to give way to the more modern transactional model (used by Autochek and major players in the automotive sector in Africa).. Therefore, ROAM Africa saw it as a necessary transition for Cheki.

Building on Ikpe’s past relationship with Ringier (an offshoot of ROAM before the merger), where he ran DealDey, a Ringier classifieds company. Finally bought, it was not a difficult decision to sell the company to Autochek, Ikpe tells TechCrunch.

I think for them it is Really long-term strategy and believe in our business model. And there is a lot of hope that we can do things in the future. Was what’s more Really on how to find the right home for the company and its employees. “

In a statement, ROAM CEO Clemens Weitz said: “Around the world, we see a new evolution of digital automotive platforms, requiring deep specialization.. Specifically in Africa, we believe that Autochek is the only player with the best equipment and experience to truly create a revolutionary consumer experience. For ROAM Africa, this agreement is more than a very good transaction: it unleashes an even greater focus on our strategic manual for our other businesses. ”

Autochek’s expansion into East Africa comes at a time when automotive technology companies such as Moove, Planet42 and FlexClub are receiving the attention of investors as the need for flexible vehicle financing continues to grow across the continent..

Arguably the most important auto finance market on the continent is South Africa. Other automotive companies have some form of presence in the market and for Autochek, the plan is to expand there as well, and understandably why.

South Africa is the crème de la crème market and has the highest penetration of auto finance on the continent.. However, despite the apparent competition, Ikpe believes that there are opportunities for the company to provide different market-tailored services than other companies have..

“The beauty of our platform is that we can be diverse; for example, we may have a retail or B2B focus. There are many dynamic ways that we can work. Then I think it is natural that our objective is typically be in all regions. We have made our forays into the East and West, and we will continue to work as we want in North and South Africa, ”he said.

Autochek says a funding round is in the works to execute on this front and could close before the end of the year.


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