Nigeria’s Cars45.com raises $5M from Balderton Capital, others
African startups are moving into the used-vehicle space.
Nigeria based Cars45.com raised a $5 million Series A round from the Frontier Cars Group, a holding company whose backers include Balderton Capital and EchoVC. The digital platform allows used car sellers to obtain a free online quote, creates a first time service history at an inspection center, then makes an offer. If accepted, Cars45 wires payment to the owner’s bank account within 45 minutes. The startup offers the autos it acquires to a private network of buyers for a fee. Cars45 CEO Etop Ikpe sees potential for the platform to build out other revenue streams around Nigeria’s used car market, including inspection services, financing, and online auto research akin to Kelly’s Bluebook. The company also has a vision beyond Nigeria. “We believe the opportunities are there to expand into other African cities with high vehicle sales traffic…and to operate similar models in emerging markets,” Ikpe told TechCrunch.
April delivered additional new funding options for the continent’s startups. The World Bank launched its XL Africa accelerator program, a 5 month program that will support 20 Sub-Saharan African startups with business mentoring and up to $1.5 million in early stage capital.
GSMA’s Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund announced its first round of 9 grantees, 7 of which are from Africa. Ventures such as Mozambique’s UX and Rwanda’s SafeMotos will receive non-equity grant finding and technical assistance.