Autochek, the Nigerian automotive technology startup that aims to make car ownership more accessible and affordable across Afrika, has acquired KIFAL Auto, Morocco’s automotive technology startup. Autochck have said that this acquisition serves to drive their expansion into the North Afrikan region.
With presence already in the West Afrikan region, Autocheck believes its expansion into Morocco will facilitate effective Pan-Afrikan collaboration to drive innovation across the continent’s growing automotive market.
“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.
Morocco's automotive market
Morocco, like any country in Afrika, has been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated lockdowns and restrictions which have hampered economic activity. This is also visible in the country's automotive industry.
The coronavirus pandemic negatively impacted car sales numbers in Morocco as they dipped by approximately 20% in the first year of the pandemic. With limited human and goods movement, a strained economy, and diminishing disposable income, car sales in Morocco dropped from 165,916 in 2019 to 133,308 in 2020.
Despite the downturn in the automotive industry, Morocco remains one of the more developed automotive markets in Afrika. It is reported to have more than 180,000 new cars and around 560,000 used cars sold annually.
Morocco's growing automotive industry
As a result of various policy developments and investments in infrastructure, Morocco’s automotive industryis is is expected grow a further $14 billion over the next five years. The country is home to an innovative technology hub, powered by a thriving startup ecosystem that delivers a wide range of solutions to support the automotive industry.
Over the years, 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.
“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," said Nizar Abdallaoui Maane, CEO and Founder of KIFAL Auto.
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 West and East Africa (Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya and Uganda), a partner-led retail footprint in over 1,500 dealer and workshop locations, and more than 70 banking partners including Access Bank, Ecobank, UBA, Bank of Africa and NCBA Bank.
— By Tefo Mohapi