Nigerian startup Autochek, an auto-tech platform making car ownership more accessible and affordable across Africa, has announced the launch of Autochek Financial Services, a new arm of the business that will focus on providing a range of vehicle financing solutions for consumers and businesses across the continent.
Autochek aims to build digital solutions that will enhance and enable a seamless and safe automotive commerce experience across Africa. The company uses technology to transform the automotive buying and selling experience for African consumers, by creating a single marketplace for consumers’ automotive needs, from sourcing and financing to after sales support and warranties.
Acquisitions have been central to the startup’s speedy expansion strategy. Autochek launched in September 2020 having acquired automotive marketplaces Cheki Nigeria and Cheki Ghana from ROAM Africa. In addition to Ghana, it has expanded to Kenya and Uganda, with the latter two launches having again been accomplished by the acquisition of Cheki properties.
In May, it acquired Moroccan counterpart KIFAL Auto to drive its expansion into the North Africa region. And the startup, which last year raised a US$13.1 million seed funding round for West African expansion, in July moved into Ivory Coast, Senegal and other French-speaking countries with the acquisition of CoinAfrique.
It is now adding additional services to its platform. Autochek Financial Services will continue to support Autochek’s Marketplace platform, which partners with car dealers and other service providers to make it easier for consumers and businesses to finance their vehicles. It will also provide best in class technology and advisory solutions to car dealers, financial institutions and other stakeholders in Africa’s automotive ecosystem, supporting them to improve credit decisioning, collections, pricing, portfolio management and product development, as well as deliver an enhanced customer experience.
Since its launch, Autocheck has worked with more than 70 financial institutions and more than 2,000 dealerships to process more than 80,000 car loan applications. Leveraging the reach of its online marketplace, the company originates auto loans powered by data analytics that makes it easier for financial institutions to offer credit to consumers. With the launch of Autochek Financial Services, the company is now positioned to double down its efforts to accelerate access to finance for Africans, and to improve the speed, structure and pricing of auto-financing on the continent.
Headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, Autochek Financial Services will be led by Johan van der Merwe, a financial services veteran with more than 20 years’ experience in risk, credit and asset finance. Before joining Autochek Financial Services as CEO, Johan had previous roles as chief risk officer at WesBank Motor, one of South Africa’s leading vehicle and asset finance providers; and SA Taxi, a vertically integrated company that provides financing, insurance and other services for the minibus taxi industry in South Africa.
“Johan brings a wealth of experience to Autochek Financial Services and we are excited to have him on board as we build the infrastructure to transform automotive commerce across Africa. We want to empower more Africans with seamless access to vehicle financing and we are looking forward to delivering more solutions to bridge the affordability gap and make it easier for more Africans to purchase the vehicles they want,” said Etop Ikpe, Group CEO and co-founder of Autochek.
van der Merwe said he saw a great opportunity to drive shared value for consumers, manufacturers, financial institutions and other stakeholders by unlocking financing.
“I strongly believe that we can build the infrastructure to make this happen. Etop and the team have done a lot of outstanding work to deliver the success Autochek has seen to date and I am looking forward to working with them to deliver more success and more growth across the continent’s automotive sector,” he said.