Autocheks Cheki Acquisition, South Africa’s Spectrum Woes, OPays Money Laundering Controversy • Techpoint Africa

Good day,

Joy couldn’t be here so I’m representing her. Also, sorry for not delivering the NFT item as promised. It will go live later today.

Today I am discussing:

  • Autochek takes over Cheki in Kenya and Uganda
  • South Africa’s spectrum problems
  • OPay Money Laundering Controversy

Autochek acquires the Czech Republic, Kenya and Uganda

Etop case (Autochek CEO). Source: Supplied.

Autotech startup, Autochek, announced the acquisition of the Cheki Kenya and Uganda auto marketplace for an undisclosed amount. The startup plans to finalize the details of the deal in the coming weeks. This would result in Cheki adding the Ugandan and Kenyan operations to its portfolio a few months after acquiring Cheki’s Ghanaian and Nigerian operations.

Speak with TechCrunch, Etop Ikpe, CEO of Autochek, announced that the acquisition of Cheki Kenya was not in progress when the acquisition of Cheki Ghana and Nigeria was completed. However, he expressed his delight at the addition.

This acquisition is very promising for Autochek, as Cheki Kenya has 12,000 vehicles and 700,000 users. Additionally, vehicle finance loan penetration in Kenya is 27.5% compared to 5% in West Africa, which gives Autochek a huge growth opportunity.

With presence in East and West Africa, Ikpe revealed plans to come to South Africa despite competition.

“The nice thing about our platform is that we can be diverse; For example, we can take a retail or B2B approach.

“There are many dynamic ways we can work. So I think our goal is to be in every region as a rule. We have advanced east and west and will continue to work as we want in North and South Africa, ”he said.

South Africa’s spectrum problems

On Monday, 08/30/2021, The South African ICT authority, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), informed telecommunications companies that they would stop using emergency frequencies.

Licensees were given by November 31 – a three-month grace period – to cease using the temporary radio frequency identification spectrum.

In 2020, following the COVID-19 induced lockdown and increased demand for internet services, ICASA granted access to broadband spectrum, including 3.5 GHz – a 5G-friendly frequency.

The access that Should take 3 months, now has taken 17. As a result, telecommunications companies have been able to meet the increased demand for their services and provide South Africans with better data and call services.

Another effect of the decision was that MTN and Vodacom quickly introduced 5G technology in South Africa with the temporary frequency. This progress now faces a major obstacle with the decision by the ICT authority to recall the spectrum.

With South Africa Since no frequency auction has been held for about a decade, many questions followed the announcement. Will the spectrum auction take place this year? Is it possible to extend it? What options do telecommunications providers have?

Our reporter, Ogheneruemu Oneyibo, has more to this story. Notice her story later today.

OPay Money Laundering Controversy

Hardly two weeks After Africa-focused startup OPay raised $ 400 million in a deal that increased its value to $ 2 billion, it is now embroiled in a money laundering controversy in India.

Last Thursday, Police in India reportedly seized Rs 107 billion ($ 14 million) from private lending company PC Financial Services Private Limited (PCFS), accusing the company of abusive short-term lending and transferring money to its overseas businesses, including OPay .

India’s Enforcement Directorate, in a statement revealed that investigations revealed that the directors of PCFS made the payments without due diligence and under the direction of Zhang Hong, the company’s country head, who reports to Zhou Yahui, OPay’s CEO.

“PCFS also had high domestic spending of Rs 941 billion. Most of the foreign payments were made to Chinese-affiliated or Chinese-owned companies that run the Opera group, ”the agency said.

What’s the connection? PCFS and OPay are owned by Chinese billionaire and entrepreneur Yahui. After Yahui founded the Chinese video game company Kunlun Tech Co. Ltd. and brought the Norwegian browser Opera to the public, Yahui’s plan to do the same with Grindr in the US met resistance and forced him to sell the company.

Coincidentally, the PCFS scandal occurred the same day OPay apologized to users for unauthorized charges.

How this will affect OPay’s operations in Nigeria is still unclear, but we would keep you informed.

What I read

  • What is the wifedoge? Meet the cryptocurrency “woman” from Dogecoin who grew more than 3,000% in one day and Elon Musk already liked it. Read.
  • I am a Lyft driver. My passengers pretend I’m part of the app. Read.

Have a great day.

Random author reporting on Africa’s startup landscape and heroes.

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