Autochek expands into North Africa after acquisition of Morocco’s Kifal Auto – TechCrunch

Autochek, a digital auto trading company, has acquired KIFAL Auto in Morocco for an undisclosed amount, entering the vehicle market in North Africa.

The deal comes just a year after Autochek bought Cheki Kenya and Cheki Uganda from Ringier One Africa Media. Prior to the September 2021 transaction, Autochek had purchased Cheki’s subsidiaries in Ghana and Nigeria and was working with the CFAO Group to launch the network in Côte d’Ivoire. Following the acquisition of KIFAL Auto, Autochek now has a presence in six countries in East, West and North Africa.

Like Autochek, KIFAL Auto connects buyers and sellers of cars, and also offers several other services through partnerships, including financing and insurance.

“From my first interaction with Nizar and his team at KIFAL Auto, I was so impressed by their passion for delivering effective solutions and their commitment to innovation. They have built an excellent platform and we are delighted to have them on board with Autochek to support the work we are doing to improve the value proposition of auto financing in Africa. There are so many parallels in our individual stories and I look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship for years to come,” said Etop Ikpe, co-founder and CEO of Autochek, in a statement.

Autochek has expanded into North Africa after buying KIFAL car for an undisclosed amount.

(LR) Autochek CEO and co-founder Etop Ikpe and KIFAL Auto founder Nizar Abdallaoui Maane. Image Credits: Autochek

Founded in 2019 by Nizar Abdalaoui Maane, KIFAL is one of the leading automotive markets in Morocco, one of the largest used and new car markets in Africa. Following the latest deal, Maane and the KIFAL auto team join Autochek to lead the company’s expansion efforts in North Africa.

“I have long been an admirer of the work Autochek has done to enable better experiences in the African automotive value chain. There is so much we can learn from each other, and I look forward to bringing my experience and expertise to deliver more groundbreaking innovation in Morocco and beyond. In our Industry and certainly in an African context, it makes sense to continue to grow with a major player. Morocco is a gateway to North Africa and I am confident we can unlock new value and drive further transformation across the board,” Maane said.

Autochek says it has 1,500 dealers as partners in its markets and has partnerships with more than 70 financing partners, including Access Bank, Ecobank, UBA, Bank of Africa and NCBA Bank.

Cars listed on the site go through several stages of inspection and are rated based on their status and performance. Ekpe said in a previous TechCrunch interview that: “The assessments and some algorithmic checks on the Autochek system help to get an idea of ​​the status and condition of the car, to determine if it is in a condition to be financed… because they (banks) don’t want a situation where they finance a car and the next day the engine knocks.”

Autochek said loans are approved in about 48 hours. The company earns by charging a fee to dealers listed on its platforms, in addition to a commission for facilitating loans from banks.

Autochek, which raised $13.1 million in a seed round last October, is backed by a number of investors, including pan-African VC firms TLcom Capital, 4DX Ventures, Golden Palm Investments, Enza Capital, Lateral Capital, ASK Capital and Mobility 54 Investment SAS, the venture capital arm of Toyota Tsusho and CFAO Group.

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