Nigerian auto-tech startup Autochek has raised a US$13.1 million seed funding round to bolster its core auto loan processing platform and deepen its footprint in West Africa.
Autochek aims to build digital solutions that will enhance and enable a seamless and safe automotive commerce experience across Africa, starting with Nigeria and Ghana.
It plans to use 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.
The startup launched last September having acquired automotive marketplaces Cheki Nigeria and Cheki Ghana from ROAM Africa, and raised a US$3.4 million pre-seed funding round shortly after. 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.
It has now also commenced operations in Ivory Coast, with West Africa a core focus after the startup secured a US$13.1 million seed funding round. Co-led by follow-on investors, TLcom Capital and 4DX Ventures, the round also included participation from existing investors Golden Palm Investments, Enza Capital and Lateral Capital as well as new participants ASK Capital and Mobility 54 Investment SAS – the venture capital arm of Toyota Tsusho Corporation.
The capital will be deployed to bolster its core auto loan processing platform and deepen its footprint in West Africa, starting with the Ivory Coast launch. As part of the investment by Mobility54, Autochek will be leveraging Toyota Tsusho’s vast retail network across 46 African countries to further deepen its expansion.
“At Autochek, our driving force is to increase financing penetration on the continent; we have been amazed by the market adoption rate and the support from our banking partners in the countries we operate in. We stepped into this space knowing we were tackling one of the most significant challenges for Africa’s automotive sector – the lack of a simplified, digital-first financing process. By combining our expertise and networks, we have been able to make an impact in the automotive sector,” said Etop Ikpe, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Autochek.
“We are extremely delighted with the progress we’ve made in a short amount of time. With this funding and the support of our strategic investors, the entire team at Autochek are dedicated to delivering exceptional service for customers and partners, as well as deploying our technology across Africa.”
Andreata Muforo, partner at TLcom, said Autochek had achieved significant traction in one of Africa’s key verticals and was making impressive progress in bringing transparency and efficiency in a complex and fragmented industry.
“The foundation of its growth has been the strong leadership of its CEO, Etop Ikpe, a repeat founder in the automotive market whose world-class experience gave us the confidence to initially invest in Autochek in 2020. We look forward to the next chapter of Autochek’s growth as it continues to unlock the major upside which has remained dormant in Africa’s automotive sector for decades,” she said.
Walter Baddoo, managing partner at 4DX Ventures, said Autochek was revolutionising the auto industry in Africa by offering the convenience and selection advantage of an auto e-commerce platform together with the added flexibility of financing.
“We have enjoyed working with the team so far, and they have demonstrated the talent, ambition, and domain expertise needed to build a complete end-to-end car ownership experience for customers. We are excited to partner with the team as they pursue the next phase of their growth,” he said.