Autochek Acquires Africa’s Virtual Car Platforms Cheki Nigeria and Cheki Ghana
Autochek, the automotive technology company recently founded by former Cars45 CEO Etop Ikpe, has announced the acquisition of automotive marketplaces Cheki Nigeria and Cheki Ghana, previously part of ROAM Africa’s portfolio of leading virtual marketplaces. The new platform will relaunch by the end of 2020.
Autochek is an automotive technology company that focuses on building digital solutions that will promote and enable a seamless and safe automotive commerce experience across Africa, starting with Nigeria and Ghana. Having identified a number of problems in the car purchase market on the continent, the new company plans to use technology to transform the automotive buying and selling experience for African consumers, by setting up a single marketplace for consumers’ automotive needs, from sourcing and financing to after-sales support and warranties.
Despite the average price of used cars in Africa standing at $5,000 (almost three times the current GDP per capita – $1,720), with credit penetration in the auto market at less than 1%, almost every used car is bought without any institutional finance. Autochek hopes to address this issue by making auto financing more accessible to consumers across Africa. Autochek is also now working to standardise solutions around warranties and maintenance, to enable dealers to offer these services more readily to consumers.
ROAM Africa (Ringier One Africa Media), 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. The leading cars marketplace Cheki Kenya remains fully owned and operated by ROAM Africa. Building on Cheki’s 10 years of progress with a network of more than 500 paying dealers, Autochek is set to introduce additional technology solutions that will make it easier for dealerships to service their clients better.
Speaking on the acquisition, Etop Ikpe, CEO of Autochek says, “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. The Cheki brand is well established in Nigeria and Ghana, and we look forward to building on the solid work that the Cheki team has done over the last ten years in reinventing how car purchases are made. Our goal is to continue the great work, as well as expand operations into other African territories from 2021 onwards.”
Clemens Weitz, CEO of ROAM Africa, stressed, “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. 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.”
The current Cheki Nigeria and Cheki Ghana team remain firm with Cheki Nigeria’s current CEO, Chimezie Okonkwo, staying on with the new company.
Cheki Kenya will remain a part of the ROAM Africa portfolio and the sale of Cheki Nigeria and Ghana does not affect Cheki Kenya. Cheki Kenya will continue to focus on establishing solutions for the Kenyan automotive industry and speed up its investment in tailoring solutions for the Kenyan market specifically.