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Nigeria’s Autocheck acquires Moroccan startup to drive North African expansion

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Etop Ikpe and Nizar Abdallaoui Maane

Nigerian auto-tech startup Autochek has acquired Moroccan counterpart KIFAL Auto to drive its expansion into the North Africa region.

Autochek aims to build digital solutions that will enhance and enable a seamless and safe automotive commerce experience across Africa. The company uses 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.

Acquisitions have been central to the startup’s speedy expansion strategy. Autochek launched in September 2020 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.

Now, having banked a US$13.1 million seed round in October of last year, it has announced the acquisition of Morocco’s KIFAL Auto to drive its expansion into North Africa. Founded by Nizar Abdallaoui Maane in 2019, 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. 

Autochek said the acquisition meant it was 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. 

“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 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,” said Etop Ikpe, CEO and co-founder of Autochek.

Maane said he had long been an 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 said.