NIGERIA BASED AUTOCHECH SCORES $3.4M FOR CAR SALE AND SERVICE PLATFORM
The newly founded venture Autocheck scores $3.4m in a seed round co-led by TLcom Capital and 4DX ventures which aim to bring the sale and servicing of cars in the continent of Africa online. This comes after the startup had acquired Nigeria and Ghana’s digital car sales marketplace – Cheki.
A development that will potentially see ‘Etop Ikpe’ who co-founder Cars45 Autotech currently owned by Amsterdam based OLX Group now to compete with Autocheck CEO in the same country. Although he had previously developed his initial tech credentials at e-commerce startups Konga and DealDey respectively, noting that Autocheck is a new model.
TechCrunch equally confirmed from Ikpe via a phone call as he explained that “It’s different in the type of technology we’re building and that it’s asset-light. I don’t have any inventory. Don’t buy cars. I don’t transact any [physical] cars. I don’t own any inspection locations. I don’t own any dealerships”.
Stressing that Autocheck’s model is aimed at creating the digital infrastructure for an emerging system intended to better coordinate sales, servicing, coupled with vehicle records of the car market within Nigeria and broader Africa. However, with Autocheck scoring the said sum coupled with the acquisition of Cheki’s platform, it’s evident that the platform is gearing for future expansion.
In view of this, the platform CEO made it clear that the market is still informal and fragmented. Adding that, “We’re basically focused on technology solutions to build the rails of [Africa’s] automotive sector to run on. We’re focusing on three foundations of the market: transactions and trading, maintenance, and financing”. While the startup’s platform which is reportedly managed by a developer team based in Lagos and Nairobi is a network for consumers and businesses to buy cars, service cars, sell cars, and finance the sale of cars.
To enable smooth and easy financing, Autocheck launched with a good number of banks, a partnership which saw 10 (banks) in Nigeria and two in Ghana, which aims at providing more financing options for the startup and consumers, Ikpe also claimed is a big opportunity for both sides. Noting that, “the used car market in Africa is a $45 billion a year market that has only a 5% financing penetration rate…so there’s a huge upside for growth”.
As the startup strives for the possibility into new African countries, the CEO made it clear that “acquisitions are going to be a core part of our expansion strategy”.
Meanwhile, in the latest seed-round, TLcom Capital Partner ‘Andreata Muforo’ confirmed the co-lead round while noting the participation of Golden Palm Investments, Lateral Capital, MSA Capital and not excluding Kepple Africa Ventures.
Ikpe equally made it clear that he left his previous startup – Cars45 because he “wanted to build something else” and not on the basis of force exit by investors.
So, what’s your take as Autocheck score $3.4M?