Autochek, the Nigerian pan-African automotive technology company, announced on Wednesday that it has acquired CoinAfrique, a classified marketplace in francophone African countries, for an undisclosed amount to accelerate penetration of its auto financing services in the region, especially in Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire.
Autochek seems to be on an acquisition spree as this new buyout is coming a little over a month since the company announced the acquisition of Moroccan automotive tech startup KIFAL autos, a deal that would launch its foray into the North African market.
CoinAfrique was initially founded in Benin in 2016 by Matthias Papet and Eric Genetre, and it quickly grew into other francophone African countries. The company now has a presence in 10 countries in the region including its 2 biggest economies—Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal.
Over the years, CoinAfrique has grown to become the number one classified marketplace for francophone Africa, enabling businesses and individuals to seamlessly buy and sell vehicles, electronics, real estate, and other goods. According to a statement shared with TechCabal, the CoinAfrique app has been downloaded more than 2 million times, with 800,000 monthly active users and 60,000 new product listings per month. The CoinAfrique website, on the other hand, receives more than 1.5 million visits per month.
CoinAfrique, which was a venture-backed startup and has raised about $3.1 million in funding, was in the market for either funding or a merger and acquisition (M&A) deal. Eventually it went for the M&A. According to Papet who spoke to TechCabal over a zoom call, the decision was based on the “conviction this is the deal we need to take the company to the next level”.
Papet said CoinAfrique’s classifieds business will continue to operate across the various product categories, with a deep integration of Autochek’s auto financing product to drive access to credit for automotive purchases. He also said 50% of the business transacted on the CoinAfrique platform is already happening in the automotive category—this more than anything explains this deal—and now, leveraging on Autochek’s technology, CoinAfrique can provide access to vehicle financing and other value-added services.
“We are excited about the opportunity to drive the penetration of auto financing across francophone Africa and to support the wider mission across Africa,” said Papet. “We see many opportunities to unlock value for users across all the categories on our platform and to expand into new countries, and we are looking forward to leveraging Autochek’s market leading loans product and expertise to deliver more transformative experiences for our users.”
“Matthias and Eric are pioneers of the classifieds model in Africa and they have built an outstanding platform with many significant partnerships with car dealers, fintech platforms and other stakeholders in the francophone automotive sector,” Etop Ikpe, CEO and co-founder of Autochek, said in the statement. “They are joining the Autochek family with many years of business and infrastructure development experience across Europe and Africa, and we are looking forward to leveraging their expertise to improve the automotive finance value proposition across the continent.”
Francophone Africa is home to 2 of the top 10 fastest-growing cities on the continent—Côte d’Ivoire’s Abidjan and Senegal’s Dakar. Côte d’Ivoire also doubles as one of the fastest growing brand new car markets in Africa.
With this acquisition, Autochek, which was already operational in Côte d’Ivoire prior to the deal, said in the statement that it will leverage CoinAfrique’s extensive database across francophone Africa to facilitate auto financing for consumers and SMEs across this region to purchase their desired vehicles. It said it will also support further integration of the Pan-African automotive industry to drive shared value for consumers, manufacturers, financial institutions, and other stakeholders.
By now, with this streak of acquisitions, it’s becoming apparent that Autochek is building the financial infrastructure powerhouse that would drive the penetration of auto financing across Africa, powered by a data analytics engine that makes it easier for financial institutions to offer credit to consumers. This acquisition extends the company’s footprint into 9 more countries, and with its existing markets—Nigeria, Ghana, Morocco, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, and Uganda—makes it operational in 15 countries, in total.
The company has strong retail partnerships of over 1,500 dealer and workshop locations across its markets, and more than 70 banking partners including Access Bank, BNP Paribas, Ecobank, UBA, Bank of Africa and NCBA Bank.
Papet told TechCabal that while he and his co-founder Genetre will be joining Autochek’s leadership team, the entire CoinAfrique team will continue to work as a subsidiary of Autochek, supporting its overarching mission to make car ownership more accessible and affordable across the continent.