Car ownership is rising across Africa although they are usually used cars. Figures show that car ownership on the continent is less than 45 cars per 1000 people, which is in sharp contrast to the global average of 203 cars per 1,000.
One of the challenges that has been identified as affecting people’s ability to own a car is finance. To address this challenge, affordable financing and business solutions for car dealers have been proposed as a game changer.
This model is being explored by Shekel Mobility, which is a B2B auto dealers marketplace. The mobility fintech helps car dealers find, finance, and sell cars in the $30 billion African used car market, according to Tech Crunch.
The company wants to position itself as the leading platform to launch and grow a car dealership locally or virtually. The goal is to build the largest auto dealership ecosystem with transactions amounting to $10 billion annually by 2025.
So far, it has financed transactions amounting to $56 million. It has facilitated the growth of over 1,400 auto dealers by augmenting their inventories and sales across 7,000 cars, according to Tech Crunch.
Its flagship product is Shekel Credit, which offers auto dealers immediate access to financing — up to $200,000 — for vehicle purchases. The dealer contributes 30% of the total cost while Shekel provides the remaining 70% as a loan to the dealer. Upon the sale of the vehicle to the end customer, the dealer remits payment to Shekel, covering interest on the loan and transaction fees associated with the car sale, according to Tech Crunch.
Shekel Mobility was founded by Benjamen Oladokun and Sanmi Olukanmi. The duo combined their expertise in the automotive industry to launch their mobility fintech firm. In the past, they were responsible for the launch and exit of Eazypapers Technologies, a digital vehicle documentation platform catering to FMCG, mobility, and logistics companies, as reported by Tech Crunch.
Shekel recently secured over $7 million in funding, comprising $3.2 million in equity and over $4 million in debt. According to Oladokun, the funds will be significant in increasing by fourfold the startup’s current ARR of slightly over $2 million.
In January this year, Shekel announced a $1.95 million pre-seed investment led by Ventures Platform with participation from Y Combinator, Voltron Capital, and Zedcrest. These investors followed on in Shekel’s seed round, with Ventures Platform co-leading its seed round alongside MaC Venture Capital.
Meanwhile, Y Combinator, Rebel Fund, Unpopular Ventures, Maiora Capital, PageOne Lab Inc., Phoenix Investment Club, Heirloom VC, and Pioneer Ventures are the other investors.