Nigerian automotive technology company, Autochek, has further widened its footprint in Africa after it announced the acquisition of KIFAL Auto, a Moroccan automotive technology startup.
This acquisition drives Autochek’s expansion into North Africa and represents the first major expansion of a West Africa-based startup into North Africa. It will facilitate effective Pan-African collaboration to drive innovation across the continent’s growing automotive market.
KIFAL Auto was founded by Nizar Abdallaoui Maane (Essec Paris graduate and former BNP Paribas consultant) in 2019 to transform the automotive experience in Morocco by providing a seamless process for buying and selling used cars, and enabling access to financing, warranties, insurance and other value-added services. The startup was the first to be accepted into the inaugural cohort of CDG Invest’s 212 Founders accelerator programme, which aims to fund and support world-class startups linked to Morocco and Africa.
Autocheck had already previously acquired East Africa’s online auto marketplaces Cheki Kenya and Cheki Uganda. The acquisition was made from ROAM Africa, often known as Ringier One Africa Media in August 2021.
Morocco is one of the most developed automotive markets in Africa, with more than 180,000 new cars and around 560,000 used cars sold annually. As a result of various policy developments and investments in infrastructure, Morocco’s automotive sector is set to grow a further $14 billion over the next five years. The country is home to an innovative technology hub, powered by a thriving startup ecosystem that delivers a wide range of solutions to support the automotive industry. Over the years, KIFAL Auto has emerged as a trusted partner for individuals and organisations in Morocco seeking to buy and sell used cars, with its transparent, secure and cost-effective processes.
With this acquisition, Autochek is uniquely positioned to tap into the innovation that underpins Morocco’s thriving automotive ecosystem, introduce its market leading solutions to alleviate various challenges across the value chain and further integrate the Pan-African automotive industry to drive shared value for consumers, manufacturers, financial institutions and other stakeholders.
Autochek is building the financial infrastructure to drive the penetration of auto financing across Africa, powered by a data analytics engine that makes it easier for financial institutions to offer credit to consumers. It has existing operations across West and East Africa (Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya and Uganda), a partner-led retail footprint in over 1,500 dealer and workshop locations, and more than 70 banking partners including Access Bank, Ecobank, UBA, Bank of Africa and NCBA Bank.
Commenting on the acquisition, Etop Ikpe, CEO and co-founder of Autochek said that he was impressed by KIFAL Auto’s passion for delivering effective solutions and their commitment to innovation.
“They have built an excellent platform and we are thrilled to have them onboard at Autochek to support the work we are doing to improve the automotive finance value proposition 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,” Ikpe said.
On his part, Nizar Abdallaoui Maane, CEO and Founder of KIFAL Auto, said that he has been a long time admirer of the work Autochek has done to enable improved experiences across Africa’s automotive value chain.
“There is so much we can learn from each other and I am looking forward to bringing my experience and expertise to deliver more game changing innovation in Morocco and beyond. In our Industry and especially in an African context, it makes a lot of sense to continue growing with a large player. Morocco is a gateway into North Africa and I am confident that we can unlock new value and drive further transformation across the board,” he noted.
Nizar and the KIFAL Auto team will join Autochek and continue to explore new opportunities to deliver solutions to drive positive change in the automotive industry in Morocco and beyond.