Nigerian automobile trading platform, Cars45, has begun its international expansion, with Kenya as its first stop.
In a tweet from a new account created for its Kenyan business, Cars45 announced its entry into the East African country, its first venture outside its West African market.
Launched in 2016, Cars45 revolutionised the used-car market in Nigeria. The platform buys, sells, prices, and rates the condition of pre-owned cars; what is popularly called ‘tokunbo’ cars.
Selling an pre-owned car can be a tedious task. Getting a car sold on time and for the right price, and getting the right broker to facilitate the sale are not tasks for the faint hearted. Seeing this gap in the market, Cars45 launched with the promise of buying a pre-owned car within 45 minutes.
All customers needed to do was input their vehicle information on the company’s website after which they are informed to bring the car for multi-point evaluation at any of the company’s inspecting sites. Once vetted, cars are bought and paid for by Cars45 who go on to sell the cars to its network of ready buyers.
By May 2017, it had raised $5 million in a Series A funding round to scale its operations in Nigeria but it had always seen opportunities to expand into other African cities with high vehicle sales traffic.
That said, Cars45’s expansion into Kenya requires some context. For one, Kenya’s population is about 50 million, which is like a 4th of Nigeria’s population. However, the country boasts of over 10,000 vehicle sales yearly and a total of 2.2 million registered vehicles. It’s not perfect but it’s a fair market for Cars45 to venture into.
Beyond population concerns, Cars45 also has ample competition in the automobile sale sector. From traditional brokers to online platforms like KenyaCar Bazaar and Cheki, the competition is not a walkover.
The key for Cars45 will be to harness its selling point of making a sale under an hour. It’ll have to ensure that it wins customers’ confidence in its service.
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