Nigerian auto-trading platform Cars45 expands to Ghana, Kenya

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Nigerian automotive trading platform Cars45 has expanded into Ghana and Kenya as it bids to establish itself as the primary platform for all car transactions in the US$45 billion African used car market.

Founded by Etop Ikpe, previously of Konga and DealDey, Cars45 is trying to formalise the used automobile sector by providing an end-to-end digitised customer journey for buying, selling and swapping cars in Africa. 

The startup has built a technology-enabled platform that makes it easier to trade cars in Africa, and has expanded to provide access to finance, insurance and other value-added services in the wake of raising US$5 million in funding from the Berlin-based Frontier Car Group (FCG) in 2017.

Cars45 is now expanding geographically, too, to ensure a larger slice of a market where nine million used cars are traded annually. Its launch in Ghana and Kenya means consumers in those two countries are now able to sell their cars directly through Cars45 and get paid in 45 minutes. 

Sellers have access to standardised pricing and a transparent marketplace, with 100 per cent visibility into price offers, and buyers get access to the largest selection of verified cars. Cars45 will also provide vehicle financing, background checks, vehicle history, insurance, after-sales support, servicing and other ancillary services that consumers will need in their automotive lifecycle.

Retail locations have already opened in Nairobi and Accra, and Cars45 plans to increase its footprint in Ghana and Kenya even further by opening more centres in Mombasa, Takoradi and other cities. It also aims to expand into additional African markets in 2020.

“We want to connect buyers and sellers across the continent in the most seamless way, taking the stress out of the trading experience. After successfully establishing ourselves in Nigeria, expanding into Ghana and Kenya made perfect sense as the ideal next step as we build a transparent and fair structure for trading cars on the continent,” said Ikpe.

Cars45 has also launched a consumer-to-consumer marketplace that directly matches sellers and buyers across all markets it operates in. 

“The process of buying and selling cars today can be complicated, time-consuming and needlessly expensive. We want to put an end to that by providing an easy and convenient way for consumers across Africa to make what is often the most significant financial transaction of their lives,” said Ikpe.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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