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Autochek Secures $3.4 Million Pre-Seed Funding

The start-up will use the investment to grow its Nigeria and Ghana markets and will see further investment in technology and growing its teams.

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Autochek, the automotive technology company that aims to build solutions for the African market have just raised $3.4 million in a pre-seed funding round, co-led by TLcom Capital and 4DX with inclusion from Golden Palm Investments, Lateral Capital, Kepple Africa Ventures, MSA Capital, and a number of local angel/seed investors.

This is coming days after African Kuda and Turaco start-ups raised millions of dollars in seed funding.

The pre-seed investment was announced today following Autochek’s acquisition of the Cheki Nigeria and Cheki Ghana brands in September 2020.

The start-up will use the investment to grow its Nigeria and Ghana markets and will see further investment in technology and growing its teams.

Combining technology and data to power every process of the automotive transactional ecosystem for millions of people, Autochek will transform the automotive buying and selling experience for African consumers, by creating a single marketplace for all automotive needs. This will include everything from sourcing and financing transactions to after sales support and warranties.

Read also: Kenyan Micro-Insurtech Startup Raises $2 Million in Seed Funding

Through the acquisition of Cheki Nigeria and Cheki Ghana, Autochek already has more than 20,000 unique vehicles listed on its platform, and more than 12,000 dealers and private sellers, as well as a range of corporate partners and customers.

Leveraging its extensive on-the-ground network of dealers and an experienced leadership team, the new platform and mobile app has been designed to address the pain points of buying, selling and repairing cars in Africa such as access to finance (for both consumers and dealers), maintenance and insurance, and bring greater value to car dealerships by enabling and enhancing automotive commerce across the continent.

Autochek will also facilitate cheaper and more effective transactions for dealers and corporate partners, leveraging its industry relationships to buy and sell vehicles on behalf of the customer for the best price and ensuring value for money.

Via the Autochek mobile app (Android app now available. iOS app coming soon), car owners and potential owners will have access to loans, auctions, trade-ins and maintenance. Automotive dealers will have access to real time car auctions, fleet management, marketing support and standardised reports on car conditions and market value, as well as inventory management, CRM for lead management and garage management systems for car workshops.

Related: Nigeria’s Fintech Kuda Secures $10M in Seed Funding

Financial institutions like Banks and FinTechs will also have access to a credit management dashboard that will make it easier for them to access customers. By focusing on the demands of both customers and dealers, Autochek is building an ecosystem of solutions specifically designed to deliver an unrivalled customer experience for the African automotive market.

Etop Ikpe, Founder and CEO of Autochek, said, “This early stage investment allows us to get started with the work of developing technology products and services that will transform automotive trade on the continent, whereby we significantly improve transactions and after care support for car owners, dealers and other stakeholders across the African automotive industry.

“Building on the solid work that the Cheki Nigeria and Ghana teams have done over the last ten years, we are already dispersed across multiple locations and applying the technology built and developed by our Autochek auto-tech experts, we are well positioned to scale quickly, as demand for reliable and well-priced cars on the continent grow. With this pre-seed round and our seasoned strategic investors on board, we are working to transform the automotive sector on the continent”

Andreata Muforo, partner at TLcom said, “Autochek is radically improving customer experience and dealer economics in an industry that creates value and jobs across the continent and we are excited to be part of that journey. The founding team has a clear plan for what they want to achieve and we look forward to working with them as they execute on their vision.”

Read also: Report Predicts Africa’s Internet economy could be worth $180 bn by 2025

Walter Baddoo, Managing Partner at 4DX said, “We are proud to enter this partnership with Autochek as the company embarks on its mission to transform Africa’s automotive industry.”

By providing access to a new range of products and services, the company will dramatically enhance the automotive transacting experience for dealers and the ownership experience for consumers across the continent. Autochek is helping to unlock massive opportunities in Africa’s auto sector and we are pleased to be supporting that mission”.

Africa is widely regarded as the final frontier for the global automotive industry, with high growth prospects over the next decade. Despite the impact of the COVID-19, car sales are expected to grow across the continent, with a corresponding rise in demand for support services.

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Business Edge| Kenya Seeks $2.3 Billion Loan from IMF to Aid Economic Recovery

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On Business Edge today, News Central’s Joe Hanson and Global Tax Advisor, Mtwalo Msoni talked about Zimbabwe Beginning to Re-claim Underutilized Farms and how Kenya Seeks $2.3 Billion Loan from IMF to Aid Economic Recovery.

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Nigeria’s Monetary Policy

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The Monetary Policy Committee of Nigeria’s Central Bank (CBN) has retained key lending rates at 11.5 percent. CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, announced this on Tuesday, saying it is part of efforts to boost the economy towards a sustainable recovery from the recession.

Earlier today The Managing partner, Comercio Partners, Nnamdi Nwizu joined us on the News Central Now to discuss this.

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Nigeria’s House of Reps to Pass Petroleum Industry Bill into Law By March 2021

“We are confident that this piece of legislation will stand the test of time. In as much as we are eager to pass the bill, we will not circumvent legislative process. It is our hope and belief that the bill will be passed by the end of the first quarter of year 2021.”

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The House of Representatives has announced its plan to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill by end of the first quarter of 2021.

The House had on Tuesday passed the bill for second reading, and the Ad Hoc Committee on PIB disclosed this in Abuja on Wednesday.

The Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, had referred the bill to the committee for further legislative processes.

The legislation was titled, “A Bill for an Act to Provide for Legal, Governance, Regulatory and Fiscal Framework for the Nigeria Petroleum Industry, Development of Host Communities and for Related Matters.”

The Chief Whip of the House and Chairman of the committee, Mohammed Monguno, in his opening speech at the inaugural meeting of the panel on Wednesday, noted that the PIB, when passed into law, will improve clarity of structures, roles accountability, transparency and overall efficiency and effectiveness of the institutions in the oil industry.

He said, “Under our watch as a committee, which I am privileged to chair, it is a general consensus that the passage of this Bill is long overdue. We are taking time to review what has been done by the previous Assemblies and what we need to do differently.

“Prior to the referral of the bill, the leadership of the House, the Senate and the relevant committees of the National Assembly have been briefed by the Hon. Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, with his team, wherein most of the concerns and controversies contained in the previous drafts has been significantly addressed in this present draft.”

The lawmaker stated that the committee would do its best by engaging various stakeholders, civil society and the general public by subjecting the bill to detailed and public scrutiny, to ensure that Nigerians are carried along.

“We are confident that this piece of legislation will stand the test of time. Inasmuch as we are eager to pass the bill, we will not circumvent legislative process. It is our hope and belief that the bill will be passed by the end of the first quarter of year 2021.”

“The committee has also taken the liberty to create a website, www.hrpib.org.ng, as one of the platforms where stakeholders and interested members of the general public can download the text of the bill and also upload comments/inputs/memoranda to same.

“The website is particularly important because it enables all Nigerians, so long as you have internet access, irrespective of where they might be or live, to participate in the legislative process.”

Monguno recalled that the journey to pass the PIB commenced in 2007 when it was first introduced on the floor of the House. However, the passage of the bill has evaded three successive Assemblies, i.e. the 6th, 7th and 8th.

The Chief Whip further said, “I am particularly alarmed that though the exploration of fossil fuel in Nigeria dates back to the 60s, commercial exploration may only last for another 25 years.

It is not to say that we might exhaust the deposit, but that the entire world is focusing on research to develop, renewable energy that could turn out to be cheaper and environmentally friendlier.

“That is why it has become expedient, more than ever, to leverage on this window of opportunity that the oil exploration presents to us as Nigerians, by ensuring that the Petroleum Industry Bill is passed without further delay.”

Monguno also noted that, in spite of all the efforts of the preceding administrations to diversify the monolithic economy, the oil industry still remained the mainstay of the country.

“Every time there is significant fluctuations in the price of crude oil, all other sectors of our national lives suffer,” he said.

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