November 2020 will not be forgotten in Autohek’s history as it secured a $3.4 million pre-seed funding to grow its markets in Nigeria and Ghana. For Autochek, this was just was the beginning…
The brand also aims to invest in its tech, and grow its team across Africa as it continues to build automotive solutions for the African market. Below are a few questions with answers to give a clearer picture of how it all happened.
Who Participated in the Round of Funding?
The round was co-led by Lagos, London, and Nairobi-based TLCom Capital and US-based 4DX Ventures. The likes of Japanese VC firm, Kepple Africa; sub-Saharan-focused firm, Lateral Capital; Ghana-based Golden Palm Investments; Chinese VC firm, MSA Capital; and several local angel investors participated in the round.
When Was Cheki Nigeria and Cheki Ghana Acquired?
Etop Ikpe founded Autocheck in August 2020, and this announcement follows the company’s acquisition of the Cheki Nigeria and Cheki Ghana brands in September. Autochek Ghana had its official launch event on January 28th, 2021 in Accra, Ghana.
What Does Etop Ikpe and His Team Hope to Achieve?
“With this pre-seed round and our seasoned strategic investors on board, we are working to transform the automotive sector on the continent. Building on the solid work that the Cheki Nigeria and Ghana teams have done over the last ten years, we are already dispersed across multiple locations. And applying the technology built and developed by our Autochek auto-tech experts, we are well-positioned to scale quickly, as the demand for reliable and well-priced cars on the continent grows,” Etop Ike, the CEO, Autochek explained
Is Autochek Really a Two-Sided Marketplace?
On one end, Autochek has an app and website where consumers get access to loans, auctions, trade-ins, and maintenance.
The other end is where automotive dealers have access to real-time car auctions, fleet management, and marketing support. Similarly, standardised reports on car conditions and market value, as well as inventory management, CRM for lead management, and garage management systems for car workshops are at their disposal.
How Does Autochek Connect Car Owners to Trusted Mechanics?
There’s also a workshop management solution where the workshop receives and processes an application if a consumer books a service — car repair for instance. After that, the consumer tracks how and when the car is being fixed and the maintenance being carried out, all without going into the workshop.
Does Autochek Have Plans For the Big Gap in Car Financing?
Asides from providing a marketplace connecting automotive car dealers to consumers, Autochek has made moves to capture the car financing market in Nigeria.
“Less than 1% of cars in Nigeria are financed as against 86% in Indonesia, which is a similar market in population, megacity status, and GDP. Mexico is at 75%, the US is at 98%, Europe is at 96%, and China is around 67%,” the CEO explained.
Can Autochek Connect Car Buyers to Car Loans?
Autochek is playing its part by connecting consumers to financial institutions like banks and fintechs.
When a consumer applies for a car loan via the platform, for instance, these institutions can access the consumer’s information along with certain car condition analysis and other statistics. This helps them to decide whether they can give out that loan.
In essence, what Autochek has done is to shorten the average time of financing a car from about 30 days to 24-48 hours.
Autochek recently partnered with Access Bank to make it easier for Nigerians to buy their own cars now and spread the payment over a 24-month period. In other words, you can drive now and pay “small small.”
What Did Andreata Muforo Have to Say About Autochek?
“Autochek is radically improving customer experience and dealer economics in an industry that creates value and jobs across the continent, and we are excited to be part of that journey. The founding team has a clear plan for what they want to achieve, and we look forward to working with them as they execute on their vision,” Andreata Muforo, Partner at TLCom enthused.
Did Walter Baddoo of 4DX Ventures Share His Thoughts on Autochek
Walter Baddoo, Managing Partner, 4DX Ventures, was of the opinion that, “By providing access to a new range of products and services, Autochek will dramatically enhance the automotive transacting experience for dealers and the ownership experience for consumers across the continent.”