Nigerian automotive tech company Autochek has acquired Cheki Kenya and Uganda from Ringier One Africa Media (ROAM) for an undisclosed amount. The deal comes after the acquisition of Cheki Nigeria and Ghana, which the company processed last year. The new acquisition marks a successful expansion of Autochek from West Africa, into East Africa.
In 2010, Cheki launched as an online car classified for dealers, importers, and private sellers in Nigeria. Ever since its launch in 2010, Cheki has spread its reach quickly across Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. In 2017, the company was acquired by Ringier One Africa Media (ROAM) and has been under its operations ever since then. The company joined a list of online marketplaces and classifieds in its network like Jobberman.
Autochek’s acquisition of Cheki Kenya passes off as a good deal. Cheki Kenya is an interesting market as it boasts of 700,000 users and lists over 12,000 vehicles monthly. The subsidiary also claims to have experienced 80 percent growth year-over-year in the last two years, making it a valuable asset for Autochek’s plan for regional expansion.
Talking about Cheki Kenya’s growth and prized status, Autochek CEO, Etop Ikpe, said: “Cheki Kenya has always been sort of the crown jewel. At the time, when we completed the Nigeria and Ghana acquisition, it wasn’t a conscious effort to make this happen, but it’s great that it happened.”
Both companies- Autochek and Ringier One Africa Media (ROAM), said they decided on the acquisition to drive success in Africa’s transportation sector. “Across the world, we see a new evolution of digital automotive platforms, requiring deep specialization. Specifically in Africa, we believe that Autochek is the one player with the best team and expertise to truly create a game-changing consumer experience. For ROAM Africa, this deal is more than a very good transaction: It unleashes even more focus on our strategic playbook for our other businesses,” Clemens Weitz, Chief Executive Officer of Ringer One Africa Media (ROAM), said.
Autochek faces competition from other automotive tech companies like Moove, Planet42, and FlexClub, which have started receiving attention from investors as the need for flexible vehicle financing keeps growing across the continent. Yet despite the seeming competition, Autochek CEO Etop Ikpe believes opportunities exist for the company to provide services tailored to the market different from what other companies have.
“The beauty of our platform is that we can be diverse; for instance, we can have a retail or B2B approach. There’s a lot of dynamic ways we can work. So I think it’s natural that our goal is to typically be in every region. We’ve made our inroads into East and West, and we’ll continue to work as we want to be in North and South Africa,” he said.
The current acquisition by Autochek leaves Cheki with branches in Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
According to statements by both companies, the deal will be completed in the next few weeks.