Digital automotive trading company Autochek has acquired Morocco’s KIFAL Auto for an undisclosed amount, marking vehicle market entry into North Africa.
The deal comes just one 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 partnered with CFAO Group to launch the network in Côte d’Ivoire. After the acquisition of KIFAL Auto, Autochek is now present in six countries in East, West and North Africa.
Like Autochek, KIFAL Auto links car buyers and sellers and also, through partnerships, offers various other services, including financing and insurance.
“From my first interaction with Nizar and his team at KIFAL Auto, I was very impressed with their passion for providing effective solutions and their commitment to innovation. They have created an excellent platform and we are delighted to have them on board at Autochek to support the work we are doing to improve the value proposition of auto finance 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,” Autochek co-founder and CEO Etop Ikpe said in a statement.
KIFAL, which was founded in 2019 by Nizar Abdalaoui Maane, is among the leading car markets in Morocco, one of the largest markets for new and used cars in Africa. Following the latest deal, Maane and the KIFAL automotive team join Autochek to lead the company’s expansion efforts in North Africa.
“I have long been a fan of the work Autochek has done to enable enhanced experiences across Africa’s automotive value chain. There is much we can learn from each other, and I am eager to contribute my experience and insights to deliver more groundbreaking innovation in Morocco and beyond. In our industry and especially in an African context, it makes a lot of sense to keep growing with a big player. Morocco is a gateway to North Africa and I am confident that we can unlock new value and drive further transformation across the board,” said Maane.
Autochek says it has 1,500 dealer partners across its markets and has partnerships with more than 70 financial partners, including Access Bank, Ecobank, UBA, Bank of Africa and NCBA Bank.
The cars listed on the site go through various stages of inspection and are graded according to their condition and performance. Ekpe said in a previous TechCrunch interview that “the assessments and some algorithmic checks in Autochek’s system help give insight into the state and condition of the car, determining if it’s in a state to be financed…because they (the banks) no. I 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 dealers who are listed on its platforms a fee, in addition to a loan facilitation fee from banks.
Autochek, which raised $13.1 million in a seed round in October last year, is backed by a number of investors, including pan-African venture capital 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.