By Adedapo Adesanya
A budding automotive technology company, Autochek, has acquired online car platform, Cheki’s operations in Nigeria and Ghana from Ringier One Africa Media (ROAM).
With the acquisition, ROAM transfers ownership and operational control to Autochek, and all Cheki Nigeria and Cheki Ghana outlets will now be rebranded under the Autochek umbrella, which according to a statement, will launch by the end of 2020.
“Autochek is an automotive technology company which aims to build digital solutions that will enable seamless and safe automotive commerce experience across Africa, starting with Nigeria and Ghana,” it said.
According to the statement, after identifying a number of challenges in the car purchase market on the continent, Autochek plans to use technology to transform the automotive buying and selling experience for African consumers.
It said, “Even though used cars in the region are significantly more expensive than average income—the average price of a used vehicle is $5,000, almost triple the current per capita GDP—most cars are purchased without institutional financing. That’s because credit penetration in the auto market remains around 1 per cent, making it difficult to finance purchases.”
Autocheck said it would achieve the transformation by creating a single marketplace for consumers’ automotive needs, from sourcing and financing to after-sales support and warranties.
The company aims to address the challenge by making auto financing more accessible to consumers across Africa.
“Autochek is now working to standardise solutions around warranties and maintenance to enable dealers to offer these services more readily to consumers.
“Building on Cheki’s 10 years of progress with a network of more than 500 paying dealers, Autochek is set to introduce additional technology solutions that will make it easier for dealerships to service their customers better,” it said.
Speaking on the acquisition, Mr Etop Ikpe, Chief Executive Officer of Autochek, said: “We are really excited by this new opportunity to drive the African automotive space forward.”
Mr Ikpe said that their aim was to create a one-stop-shop for consumers’ automotive needs by embedding technology at every stage of the process and making the journey of car ownership easier for everyone.
“The Cheki brand is well established in Nigeria and Ghana, and we look forward to building on the solid work that the Cheki team has done over the last 10 years in reinventing how car purchases are made.
“Our goal is to continue the great work, as well as expand operations into other African territories from 2021 onwards,” he added.
Mr Clemens Weitz, CEO of ROAM Africa, said: “With Autochek, we have found a company that will carry on the incredible results Cheki has achieved in Nigeria and Ghana over the last decade in developing a specialist car marketplace, trusted by both car buyers and sellers.”
“Etop and his team had an outstanding record of success in the African automotive market and we are excited to be handing over these assets to them, ensuring continuity of service as we migrate the platforms over.
“We are also pleased that the Autochek team is committed to working collaboratively with the existing Cheki team and long-term partners,” Mr Weitz said further.
Despite the transfer of Cheki in Nigeria and Ghana to Autochek, Cheki operations in East African country, Kenya, remains fully under the control of ROAM Africa.
Lagos to Prosecute Truck Driver, One Other Over Attack on VIS Officials
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A truck driver and one other suspect would be prosecuted by the Lagos State government for allegedly attacking operatives of the Vehicle Inspection Service (VIS).
The VIS officials were reportedly beaten by a mob on Tuesday, May 10, 2022, along Airport Road in Oshodi, resulting in two of the operatives receiving treatment at the hospital.
According to a statement signed by the Commissioner for Transportation, Mr Frederic Oladeinde, the government officials were attempting to apprehend the truck driver for allegedly violating the traffic law of the state when the mob descended on them, using various weapons to attack them.
Mr Oladeinde, who frowned at the development, promised that the Lagos State government will take decisive action against the perpetrators of the act.
He said the truck driver and one of the attackers have been apprehended and would be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, stressing that others who are still at large will soon be brought to book.
Mr Oladeinde decried the frequent attacks on the enforcement teams of the state government by citizens, warning that those caught in the act will continue to face the full wrath of the Law.
Also speaking on the incident, the Director, Lagos State Vehicle Inspection Service, Mr Akin-George Fashola, urged members of the public to always channel their grievances against government officials to the appropriate authorities for necessary action instead of taking laws into their hands through unwarranted attacks.
“As we say in the transport sector, safety implementation without enforcement is mere entertainment. The role of the VIS is to ensure sanity on our roads for the safety of lives and property and if in the cause of this onerous assignment, you feel hard done by our officials, the last thing you want to do is to resort to self-help which is against the law. Endeavour to channel your grievances through the appropriate channel,” Mr Fashola advised.
GoMetro Raises $1m to Expand to UK, American Markets
By Adedapo Adesanya
South African logistics startup, GoMetro, has secured a $1 million (ZAR16.3 million) seed extension round to accelerate its growth, bolster its commercial team and rapidly expand into the UK and American markets.
The funds were received from Kalon Venture Partners, Hlayisani Capital, Tritech Global, 4Decades Capital, and E Squared Investments and would be used for key hires and investment in its innovative tech platform, product engineering and development.
GoMetro is a mobility management platform that enables public transport and logistics operators to boost operational efficiency, futureproof their services, and tighten their competitiveness.
The solution improves the operations of hundreds of fleets around the world by providing the building blocks for the rapid development of mobility applications.
Speaking on this, CEO of GoMetro, Mr Justin Coetzee said, “By using our mobility management platform and digitising their entire fleet, operators can save up to 30 per cent in operating costs by increasing overall vehicle utilisation, controlling excess mileage and managing back-office costs.
“We have also seen our customers increase the certainty and accuracy of their delivery windows by 50 per cent.”
On his part, Kalon Venture Partners CEO, Mr Clive Butkow said he was excited to be an investor in a business that continued to scale locally and globally.
“Kalon’s investment was motivated by the exceptional GoMetro team, as well as the innovative digitization of transport operations to better manage mobility.
“The GoMetro fleet works with logistics providers’ existing investment in telematics, provides accurate route planning and on-time alerts, and saves them money in back-office costs and contract performance,” he said.
Lagos to Divert Ikeja Traffic for Asphalt-Laying on Rail Level Crossing
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Lagos State Government on Thursday said it will divert traffic flow on the Public Works Road at Ikeja for Rail Level Crossing asphalt laying by 9.00 p.m. on Thursday till 6.00 a.m. on Friday.
In a statement today, the Commissioner for Transportation, Mr Frederic Oladeinde, disclosed that the asphalting was necessary to ease traffic flow across the rail track.
According to the diversion plan, motorists from GRA are advised to make use of Oba Akinjobi Way to link Airport Under Bridge to access Agege Motor Road, while motorists from Oshodi going into the GRA, Ikeja will be diverted to the Airport Bridge or Adegbola Level Crossing for their desired destinations.
The Lagos government noted that road users are therefore advised to comply with the traffic directions provided by the traffic enforcement personnel on the ground as well as road signals to minimize inconveniences during the rehabilitation works.
“Lagos State Government is hereby appealing to residents of the state, especially motorists that ply the mentioned corridor to make use of the alternatives routes provided to ease traffic flow, as the palliative works are aimed at achieving a seamless multi-modal transport system that is being envisaged for a greater Lagos,” the statement added.
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