Nigerian car auction company Cars45 has announced its expansion into Kenya.
The company, whose core service involves technical inspection, valuation and sale of used vehicles within an hour, is positioning itself to tap into the increasingly attractive East African market. Kenya is its first foray beyond West Africa and this announcement comes as it looks to begin car imports into Nigeria by gaining access to US auto auctions.
Even as border controls in Nigeria threaten to stifle imports, optimism appears the motivation for Cars45. Proceeds from a 2017 $5 million Series A round have gone into boosting its capacity for handling customer demands for car swaps and sales. With thirteen inspection centres around Nigeria and the presence of competitors offering similar services, scepticism around the business of trading used cars has arguably begun to wane.
By population figures, Kenya’s market is about a fourth of Nigeria’s. However, the relative ease of business has seen a number of companies set up shop or make strategic acquisitions there.
Cars45 Kenya adds weight to the argument that indigenous Nigerian businesses are able to grow and expand beyond the country’s shores. As attention to integrating and developing Africa through commerce grows, the companies presence in two of the continent’s busiest markets is a good case for business owners’ readiness to take the initiative.
Meanwhile, Cars45 will now pay people who refer others to its service, to either buy or sell cars. Branded the ‘autopreneur empowerment initiative’, the company aims to create a medium for those without a direct stake in car sales to earn passive income. At the same time, it hopes to facilitate greater confidence in the efficiency and reliability of its process.