Owning to the poor state of highways and incessant road rage in Nigeria, vehicle maintenance has become the inevitable phenomenon that every motorist cannot but look attentively at and consider. That is necessary because the majority of cars on our highways are fairly-used. Yet, even in instances where car owners visit mechanic workshops for checks, we still can’t undermine the importance of vehicle maintenance in this country. One of many reasons is that most vehicle repairers are not formally trained and lack the technical know-how to provide quality service for motorists over a long period.
In a bit to substantiate the above point, Mr. Olusegun Owoade, co-founder and CEO of Mecho Autotech, an Autotech startup in Nigeria, says, “When you consider the sheer number of used cars in Nigeria and the state of our roads, car maintenance isn’t optional.” According to Mr.Olusegun Owoade, Mecho Autotech is a startup that has developed a vehicle maintenance and high-quality repair culture in Nigeria.
Last Wednesday, the company’s management revealed that it had secured $2.15 million in a seed funding round which indicates that many investors subscribed to its mission and actively invested in the company. Prominent investors who joined the first seedling round include oversubscribed Future Africa, Hoaq Capital, Cathexis Ventures, V8 Capital, Silver Squid, and Tekedia Capital.
Launched in April 2021 by COO Ayoola Akinwunmi and Owoade and operates on a digital platform that links B2C and B2B customers, which give room for both third-party and in-house mechanics.
Currently, Mecho’s in-house capacity comprises three workshops. These workshops are known as Mecho Shops, scattered in the suburbs across Lagos – where it services corporate fleets and Mecho Mobile operations.
Mecho Autotech’s clientele includes some of Nigeria’s famous brands such as UAC Group, Moove, Tolaram Group, Uber, and other service-level agreements. With its app, Mecho has expanded into B2C services with the launch of its app (available on both Android and iOS devices) only in January, with a plan to expand that segment through a subscription service model.
The Mecho app allows users to enter their vehicle’s unique identification number (VIN) or basic vehicle information. Then, the algorithm calculates a routine vehicle maintenance program and subscription fee based on the vehicle’s specifications, which can be paid monthly, quarterly, or annually.
Speaking on that, Owoade said, “Through automation, we want to make it easy, convenient, and affordable for Nigerians to access high-quality vehicle repair and maintenance” “We aspire to build a maintenance culture in the country and beyond to keep roads and people safe.” He added.
The company also offers mobile services tailored to meet customers at their respective locations. This helps to handle location challenges for many clients who wouldn’t like to visit their workshops or garages. The company has a system to help business customers manage fleet-wide needs with flexible processes on request.
With the recent giant stride in its new funding, the company is now the most prominent auto investment startup for vehicle maintenance in sub-Saharan Africa.
“At Future Africa, our thesis is to back founders solving hard problems in large markets,” says Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, founder and General Partner at Future Africa, on the investment in Mecho. “With over 12 million cars on our roads, and more on the way, leveraging technology to bring order to vehicle maintenance and repair is overdue.”
By building vehicle repair across African countries, the company establishes new skilled auto repair jobs. Since its inception, the startup said it has onboarded over 7,000 third-party mechanics to its platform after they passed rigorous assessments.