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Autochek Acquires ROAM Africa’s Online Car Platforms Cheki Kenya and Cheki Uganda

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Autochek, the automotive technology company facilitating auto financing across Africa and ROAM Africa (Ringier One Africa Media) have entered into an agreement for Autochek to acquire automotive marketplaces Cheki Kenya and Cheki Uganda, as Autochek expands further into the African market.

The deal will be finalised within the following weeks and will see Cheki Kenya and Uganda’s operations integrate with the wider Autochek operations. The move comes just one year after Autochek successfully acquired Cheki Nigeria and Ghana as part of its launch in West Africa.

Launched in 2020, and backed by notable investors such as TLcom Capital and 4DX Ventures, Autochek combines technology, underpinned by data analytics to deepen auto finance penetration across the continent. With a presence in Nigeria and Ghana, the company’s 360-degree automotive solution also provides a strong network of after-sales services that preserves and eases vehicle ownership experience across Africa.

The acquisition of East Africa’s leading online auto marketplace is the next step for Autochek as it expands its footprint in the region and continues its mission to provide seamless access to auto financing across the continent. Building on Cheki’s 10 years of experience, Autochek is set to introduce additional technology solutions that will integrate the auto ecosystem as well as increase market adoption for auto loan financing. As part of the agreement, ROAM Africa will transfer ownership and operational control to Autochek.

Speaking on the acquisition, Etop Ikpe, Founder and CEO of Autochek, said, “The acquisition of Cheki Kenya and Uganda is an important milestone for us, and we are excited to be working with ROAM Africa once again, building on their achievements over the past years. ROAM Africa has an unrivalled track record of operating and scaling some of Sub-Saharan Africa’s most innovative classified marketplaces and we look forward to leveraging on this solid business foundation”

“Autochek’s mandate is to accelerate the ability of African consumers to access better quality and affordable vehicles by providing access to financing, while also derisking the auto lending process for financial institutions. We are long-time admirers and collaborators of the Cheki brand; following today’s news, we intend to provide even more trust and transparency in East Africa’s automotive sector, leveraging the unique networks we are now joining together.”

Founded in 2010, Cheki Kenya has built a network of hundreds of dealers, more than 12,000 vehicles listed monthly and 700,000 monthly unique users on its platform with 80% plus year-on-year growth in the last two years.

Clemens Weitz, CEO of ROAM Africa, says, “Across the world, we see a new evolution of digital automotive platforms, requiring deep specialization. Specifically in Africa, we believe that Autochek is the one player with the best team and expertise to truly create a game-changing consumer experience. Our Cheki team has built a unique, market-leading brand and a truly remarkable business. Most importantly I want to thank everyone in the team who contributed to this success. Now we are excited to see that taken to the next level. Whilst this is good news for everyone directly involved, the ultimate benefactor will be African car buyers and sellers.”

“For ROAM Africa, this deal is more than a very good transaction: It unleashes even more focus on the strategic playbook for our core businesses. We have a clear strategy that will further strengthen our leading marketplaces and invest into innovative product solutions. The opportunity is now bigger than ever, since the pandemic has vastly accelerated digitization across the continent. In the last two years, our businesses recorded unprecedented growth. Thus, our commitment to connect Africans to opportunities remains strong.”

With credit penetration in Kenya at 27.5%, significantly higher than the West African market which stands at 5%, East Africa’s growing market is positioned as a key auto financing hub and Autochek is now strategically positioned to scale as it becomes a pan-African player.

ROAM Africa remains committed to connecting Africans to opportunities and will focus on strengthening the autonomy of its existing portfolio companies across East and West African countries such as Jobberman.com in Nigeria and Ghana, BrighterMonday.co.ke, Brightermonday.co.ug, Expat Dakar.com, BuyRentKenya.com and others.

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Peter Obi Inspired Me To Start Producing SUVs And Pick-ups – Innoson

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The Chairman of Innoson Group, Dr. Innocent Chuwuma, has explained how the former Governor of Anambra state, Peter Obi gave his company tremendous encouragement that helped boost its activities.

The industrialist said that apart from making the access road to Innoson plant very motorable, Obi placed repeated orders for hundreds of mini buses, pick-up trucks and SUVs.

He disclosed, however, that the former governor is a hard bargainer who would always insist on the lowest possible unit price, even though he would pay promptly for every order placed.

“Peter Obi gave me much encouragement when I started. He first ordered 700 units of buses for schools in Anambra State, for which he made upfront payment. This upfront payment helped me a lot because I was just getting started.

“Later on, he ordered for another 500 units of pick-ups for security agencies in the state. But the only snag in dealing with him is that he would beat the price down to the lowest point. However, the good thing about him is that he will never owe you. He gave me a lot of encouragement. He also came back to me to say that he needed 500 SUVs for all the traditional rulers in Anambra state.

“Then, I had not started producing SUVs. I asked him to give me 14 days to study his need. I called all my engineers together and we discussed how to produce his order. Peter Obi made me to start producing SUVs and pick-ups, and we have no regrets doing so.”

Obi himself had some years ago disclosed on television that some people in his government had tried to dissuade him from purchasing the Innoson vehicles, alleging that they were death-traps.

“But, I insisted on the state buying from Innoson; I told them, ‘let the vehicles go ahead and kill us. The rest of us that survive will continue to use them,’” the former governor stated, confirming that the vehicles performed satisfactorily.

The result of meeting the mass purchases was that the auto maker gradually added more products to the IVM line-up, including shuttle buses, bigger buses for mass transit, various pick-up truck models {some made for the security agencies}, sedans, SUVs, ambulances, family vans, and refuse management vehicles.

The addition of many products also led to the commissioning of two new plants in July 2021 and installation of an automated robotic paint spray booth, which was integrated into the production processes to increase efficiency and quality in the IVM factory complex.

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ALERT: FG Announces Traffic Diversion On Lagos-Ibadan Expressway

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The Federal Government has announced the diversion of traffic on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway with effect from Monday, November 29, 2021.

The traffic diversion which is for a period of 6 days is to allow contractors speed up construction works.

This disclosure is contained in a statement issued by the Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Mr Olukayode Popoola, on Sunday, November 28, 2021.

According to NAN, Popoola said the diversion is to enable Julius Berger, contractor handling section one of the project, to lay asphalt between Arepo and Warewa, a distance of one and a half kilometres.

Popoola explained that there is the need to prepare the ground around Punch area, hence the need for the traffic diversion to speed up construction works adding that the traffic diversion would be on the Lagos bound carriageway.

While appealing for understanding from commuters, Popoola said that adequate arrangements have been made for traffic regulatory agencies to manage the construction zone to avert gridlock.

He said, “The Federal Government is desirous of completing the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway project by next year, so there is need to increase the tempo of activities on the road.

“Julius Berger will asphalt between Arepo and Warewa, therefore there is going to be diversion of traffic for six days. The public should please bear with the Federal Government.’’

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Gokada Expands Into Ibadan And Moves Towards Resuming Ride-Hailing

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Gokada, the Nigeria-based last mile delivery, logistics and transportation start-up has launched in Ibadan following consolidated growth in Lagos.

Following the recent successful launch of its Super App and as part of its expansion strategy, the company is rolling out operations in Ibadan across its food delivery (GFood) and logistics services (GSend), with plans to resume ride-hailing (GRide) and e-commerce (GShop) later in the year.

As one of Nigeria’s crucial commercial centres with a close proximity to Lagos, Ibadan offers significant demand for Gokada’s unmatched last mile delivery services. The move will generate thousands of jobs for riders who can now serve the thousands of businesses that require access to a seamless last-mile logistics network in the city.

The expansion into Ibadan will also allow Gokada to build on its surging numbers of G-partners, which is a popular initiative to bring additional riders onboard who already own their own bikes, in addition to Gokada’s existing G-pilots.

Having established a strong track record in Lagos, completing more than 1.5 million deliveries on behalf of 30,000 merchants, Gokada is focused on replicating its success in Ibadan.

The company has boarded more than 100 restaurants who can now offer delivery to their customers through the Gokada GFood menu in its Super App. Once the Super App is successfully deployed in a second city, Gokada will begin planning for further hubs in Abuja, Port Harcourt and Ogun.

This additional growth is being driven by Nigeria’s e-commerce and last-mile logistics sector which is growing at 11% per year, boosted by recent changes in shopper behaviour and demand for last-mile delivery.

Commenting on the launch in Ibadan, Nikhil Goel, CEO of Gokada, said, “Since launching just a few months ago, the Gokada Super App has connected thousands of customers and businesses in Lagos and we are excited to bring our unparalleled service to Ibadan.

We want to continue catalysing the transformation of Nigeria’s transport infrastructure through our ultra-reliable last-mile delivery solutions; and it is essential to have a solid foundation, particularly with our ever-improving technology, before deploying in a new location.”

In the coming months, Gokada’s license with NIPOST will enable its fleet to fulfill a cross-country logistics service, linking delivery between Lagos and Ibadan via a Super App for the first time. This opens up opportunities for merchants in both cities to expand their customer bases and tap into new areas of growth.

“We built the largest fleet of delivery riders in Lagos, and we want to do the same here in Ibadan, and offer so much more,” added Goel. “Now we’ve reached a juncture where we can move forward with a rigorous expansion strategy that will potentially create entrepreneurial opportunities for thousands of riders to run their own ‘businesses in a box’.

The changing business landscape of commerce requires reliable tech-enabled solutions, and while Gokada has come a long way in being part of the change, we’re focussed on further growth across the country.”

Since rolling out the Super App, available on Android and iOS, Gokada has recorded over 100,000 downloads and expects this growth to continue as they expand into some of Nigeria’s key cities, providing the same reliable and seamless service for thousands more customers.

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