BY ROSEMARY IWUALA
Autochek is continuing its African footprints expansion into North Africa with the acquisition of Morocco’s leading automotive technology startup, KIFAL Auto.
Autochek, an automotive technology development company which makes car ownership more accessible and affordable across Africa, disclosed the development in a statement made available to Businessamlive.com.
According to the company, the acquisition represents the first major expansion of a West Africa-based startup into North Africa and it will facilitate effective pan-African collaboration to drive innovation across the continent’s growing automotive market.
The acquisition will position Autocheck to tap into the innovation that supports Morocco’s thriving automotive ecosystem, introduce its market-leading solutions to ease various challenges across the value chain and further integrate the pan-African automotive industry to drive shared value for consumers, manufacturers, financial 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 Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya and Uganda, a partner-led retail operation in over 1,500 dealer and workshop locations and more than 70 banking institutions, including Access Bank, Ecobank, United Bank for Africa (UBA), Bank of Africa and NCBA Bank.
KIFAL Auto was founded by Nizar Abdallaoui in 2019 in Morocco and it provides 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 the CDG Invests 212 Founders accelerator programme, which funds and supports world-class startups linked to Morocco and Africa.
Morocco is regarded as 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 pub, powered by a thriving startup ecosystem that delivers a wide range of solutions to support the automotive industry. KIFAL Auto is patronised by individuals and organisations in Morocco seeking to buy and sell cars, with its offering of transparent, secure and cost-effective processes.
Etop Ikpe, co-founder and chief executive officer of Autochek, commenting on the acquisition said, “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.”
Nizar Abdallaoui Maane, founder and chief executive officer of KIFAL Auto, also said, “I have 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.”
Youssef Mamou, Program Director at 212Founders said, “KIFAL Auto is a great example of the real change that innovation and a focus on value creation is driving across Africa today. Nizar and his team have shown a lot of passion, vision and entrepreneurial spirit to drive the success the company has seen to date and we are confident that this success will continue as they join the Autochek family.”
Meanwhile, 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.