Autochek, a Nigerian automotive technology startup, has announced the acquisition of KIFAL Autos, a leading Moroccan automotive technology startup as part of its expansion into North Africa.
This development was disclosed by the company in a press statement released to Business AM Live, where they boast of it being the first major expansion of a West Africa-based startup into North Africa.
The company also underlines the aim of the development to facilitate effective pan-African collaboration to drive innovation across the continent’s growing automotive market.
This move is part of Autochek’s expansion footprint with the announcement coming 7 months after the company expanded its reach to Uganda and Kenya by acquiring both country’s operations of Cheki, an online car marketplace. The company already has existing operations across Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya and Uganda.
KIFAL Auto was founded by Nizar Abdallaoui Maane, a former BNP Paribas consultant, in Morocco in 2019. It provides an easy way to buy and sell used cars whilst enabling access to financing, warranties and insurance. The startup was the first to be accepted into the inaugural cohort of CDG Invest’s 212 Founders accelerator programme, which funds and supports world-class startups linked to Morocco and Africa. KIFAL Auto is said to have emerged as a trusted partner for individuals and organisations in Morocco because of its transparent, secure, and cost-effective processes.
Regarded as one of the most developed automotive markets in Africa, Morocco has seen a significant increase in automotive movements over the years as a result of the country’s rising investments in infrastructure. With car sales exceeding 160,000 units annually, the Moroccan automotive sector reportedly contributes about 24% to the country’s GDP as of 2022 and is set to grow a further $5.5 billion over the next five years.
Etop Ikpe, co-founder and CEO 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 commented on this development saying, “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.”
Autocheck disclosed in its statement that Nizar and the KIFAL Auto team will join the company and continue to explore new opportunities which will help drive positive change in the automotive industry in Morocco and beyond.