Nigerian startup Autochek opens Accra office as it begins expansion process

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Nigerian auto-tech startup Autochek has launched an office in Accra as it aims to increase its footprint in Ghana as part of its pan-African expansion plans.

Autochek aims to build digital solutions that will enhance and enable a seamless and safe automotive commerce experience across Africa, starting with Nigeria and Ghana. 

It plans to use 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.

The startup only launched in September but has already acquired automotive marketplaces Cheki Nigeria and Cheki Ghana, as well as raised a US$3.4 million pre-seed funding round. It has now commenced operations in Accra, Ghana to support the delivery of technology solutions for one of Africa’s most advanced automotive markets. 

Building on the work Cheki Ghana has done over the last decade, Autochek is combining technology and data to create a single marketplace for car sales, car loans and car repairs in Ghana. 

Consumers in Ghana can now buy cars and access car loans via the Autochek Android app or website, knowing that every listed car has undergone a 150-point inspection process. The inspection service can also be used for cars outside the Autochek network. Autochek will also enable more effective sourcing and affordable car loans, as well as car repairs and warranties. 

The startup has also onboarded auto dealers and auto workshops from across the country who can now rely on consistent leads that have been filtered to validate their interest. Car owners can book maintenance and repairs via the app and the website with the confidence that their cars will be in the hands of standardised workshops and technicians from Autochek’s partner network. By focussing on the needs of both customers and dealers, Autochek is building an ecosystem of solutions that will deliver an unrivalled customer experience.

“We are excited to be in Ghana and to be part of the ecosystem. The government is doing a lot of great work to support the automotive industry but there is also a need to make sure that vehicles meet a certain standard before they are bought or sold locally. This is where we hope to bring our expertise to create an effective and efficient marketplace for everybody,” said Etop Ikpe, chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder of Autochek.

“We have also seen an increase in demand for tech-enabled solutions as people and businesses respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges that have come with it. This tech-enabled approach will enable a better customer experience and facilitate transparency and ease of doing business, which in turn translates to increase in transactions and more efficient business operations.”  

Yvonne Ahlie, head of business operations for Ghana at Autochek, said the automotive industry in Ghana was one of the most advanced in Africa, but that there is still some work to be done, especially with regards to the day to day experience for consumers, dealers and workshops. 

“The fragmentation of the industry means most players are operating in silos and are not able to reap the full benefits of what the market has to offer. There is also a dearth of comprehensive data that dealers and workshops can use to underpin business decisions and this is impacting their performance. This is where Autochek will make a difference by combining data and technology to transform the automotive transaction ecosystem and enable excellence across the value chain,” she said.

Over the next year, Autochek aims to onboard more than 500 dealers and workshops across various cities in Ghana, making it easier for Ghanaians across the country to access the automotive services they need.

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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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