By Funmilola Gboteku
Lagos, Sept. 14, 2020 Autochek, an automotive technology company, on Monday said it had acquired online car platform, Cheki, in Nigeria and Ghana.
Autochek said in a statement that Cheki Nigeria and Cheki Ghana were previously part of Ringier One Africa Media’s (ROAM) portfolio of leading online marketplaces.
It said that the new platform would relaunch by the end of 2020.
“Autochek is an automotive technology company which aims to build digital solutions that will enable seamless and safe automotive commerce experience across Africa, starting with Nigeria and Ghana,” it said.
According to the statement, after identifying a number of challenges in the car purchase market on the continent, Autochek plans to use technology to transform the automotive buying and selling experience for African consumers.
It said it would achieve the transformation by creating a single marketplace for consumers’ automotive needs, from sourcing and financing to after sales support and warranties.
The company said that in spite of the average price of used cars in Africa standing at 5,000 dollars (almost three times the current GDP per capita – 1,720 dollars ), with credit penetration in the auto market at less than one per cent, almost every used car was bought without any institutional finance.
It said that Autochek aimed to address the challenge by making auto financing more accessible to consumers across Africa.
“Autochek is now working to standardise solutions around warranties and maintenance to enable dealers to offer these services more readily to consumers.
“ROAM Africa, Cheki’s parent company, has transferred ownership and operational control to Autochek; 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 customers better,” it said.
Speaking on the acquisition, Etop Ikpe, Chief Executive Officer of Autochek, said: “We are really excited by this new opportunity to drive the African automotive space forward.”
Ikpe said that their aim was to create a one-stop shop for consumers’ automotive needs by embedding technology at every stage of the process and 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 10 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,” Ikpe said.
Clemens Weitz, CEO of ROAM Africa, said: “With Autochek, we have found a company that will carry on the incredible results Cheki has achieved in Nigeria and Ghana over the last decade in developing a specialist car marketplace, trusted by both car buyers and sellers.
“Etop and his team had 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,” Weitz said.
NAN reports that the current Cheki Nigeria and Cheki Ghana team remains intact with Cheki Nigeria’s current CEO, Chimezie Okonkwo, staying on with the new company.