Owning a vehicle is considered a necessity when it holds huge economic implications for an individual. You need a car to get to work or run your business. It’s also a way of controlling your transportation costs.
Here in Africa, the harsh economic realities have forced the idea that owning a car is merely a luxury. Take Nigeria for instance, the continued devaluation of the currency, the limited purchasing power of the middle-class and the lack of adequate vehicle financing make owning a car truly difficult to own a car.
Autochek was founded by the highly experienced Etop Ikpe to facilitate auto finance across Africa. The startup has been making some strategic expansion moves, starting with the acquisition of Cheki Kenya and Cheki Uganda from ROAM Africa. And now Autochek has officially expanded its operations to Kenya as part of its pan-African expansion. To lead its Kenya operations, the startup has appointed Bilhah Muriithi as the Country Manager.
Autochek’s remarkable expansion and move into the Kenyan market signals its focus on building digital solutions that will increase market adoption for auto loan financing and drive partner prosperity for its core stakeholders, such as dealerships, garages and financial institutions.
Increased Access Vehicles & Affordable Maintenance Services
With credit penetration in Kenya at 27.5% and over 400,000 car sales per annum, East Africa’s growing market is positioned as a key auto financing hub. Autochek will leverage its 360-degree automotive solutions to provide vehicle financing and after-sales services through its finance partners such as NCBA Group, Caritas MFB, KKVL, Musoni and Sidian. With Cheki Kenya’s operations fully integrated with Autochek’s, the company now has over 12,000 unique vehicles listed on the Autochek app and have onboarded licensed brand new car manufactures (Inchcape, CFAO Group & CMC Motors) as well as used car dealers (Al Rahim, Autobox, Newton, Mombasa Khushi & Canon Motors). To ensure vehicles are kept in good condition, customers in Kenya can access affordable and expert maintenance services from standardised workshops (AutoXpress, Motor Consult, Kei Cars & ) and insurance partners( PesaBazaar & MTEK) via Autochek’s partner network.
Speaking at the official launch event in Nairobi, Etop Ikpe, Founder and CEO of Autochek stated “With a high credit penetration rate, Kenya is an exciting market for us to be expanding into. The Kenyan market presents an opportunity for us to build on what Cheki Kenya has done over the last decade and to build technology solutions that will drive growth in Africa’s automotive industry.
“We’ve had great success in our pilots by adapting and tailoring our solutions for different consumers. As we expand our operations in Kenya, we are excited to welcome Bilhah on board, who we found to be a strong leader with a solid background in the finance and automotive sector, and is equipped to lead the team in Kenya as we continue to expand our footprint across East Africa and beyond.”
Bilhah’s Appointment: Another Good News for Gender Parity in Africa
Having started her career at Cheki Kenya, Bilhah joins Autochek from NCBA BANK PLC, Digital Business, where she was responsible for running the Carduka portal, an online motor vehicle platform, as the Business Manager. With over 9 years of experience, Bilhah has built her leadership acumen working with digital brands in Kenya. As Country Manager, Bilhah will be responsible for overall oversight of the business, growing the marketplace by ensuring that Autochek has all mainstream car dealers, all auto lenders, all car buyers, all insurance & tracking companies.
Commenting on her new role as Country Manager, Bilhah Muriithi said: “We foresee great opportunities in Kenya – not just for Autochek, but also for key stakeholders and consumers. By moving into Kenya, we are able to deliver great opportunities for innovation. I am excited to be joining this highly motivated team, who are passionate about making a real impact across the continent.”
Joining Bilhah, Etop and the Autochek team at the launch event themed “Leveraging Financing to Facilitate Motorization Across Africa” were representatives from key stakeholders including Dr.(Eng) Joseph K.Njoroge, Principal Secretary, State Department of Transport, Major Kipchumba, Chair Kenya Car Bazaar, Hussein Ibrahim, MD, Inchcape, Andreata Muforo-TLCOM Capital & Tony Voorhout, MD, Nissan Kenya.
Launched in 2020 and backed by TLcom Capital and 4DX Ventures, Autochek combines technology underpinned by data analytics to deepen auto finance penetration across the continent. Powered by its residual value algorithm, Autochek is able to pre-qualify customers for financing and disburse auto loans within 48 hours through a single application process. Autochek’s in-house digital solutions have enabled the platform to partner with over 68 financial institutions, build a 1,000 strong dealer network integrated with 1,000 workshop networks in Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya.