Just me. Jason Njoku.

I am Jason Chukwuma Njoku, Founder of iROKO. Arguably one of the most awesome internet companies in Africa. As a professional (and certified) geek I read Chemistry at the University of Manchester, in 2005, I embarked on my journey of becoming a modern day Capitalist. These are my opinions. I own them and make no excuses for having them. I am also an angel investor having 11 Nigerian companies in my little portfolio. Jason [at] Spark [dot] ng is my email address
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CHEKI.COM.NG is arguably one of the most awesome and unsung websites in the Nigerian internet space. A great job thus far by Chika Nwobi (and team) to create a real game changer in the Nigerian (and Africa – also present in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Ghana) webspace. They have quietly taken over the lucrative automobile classifieds game. And lucrative this area most definitely is. Trader Media Group (operator of Autotrader.co.uk) is valued at £2bn and Autotrader.com (no relation) recently filed for a $300Mn IPO 

In a very very short space of time Cheki have managed to successfully aggregate awesome car buying data for Nigeria. Not only that but considerably better than anything else I have come across. What is really really awesome is it appears they are originating the data themselves.

Nigeria is one of those places where to truly succeed you actually need to roll your sleeves up and get dirty. No lean methodology / crowd-sourced shenanigans here.

If you don’t find your data points, you damn well create them. In Cheki (and iROKO case) you actually have to build out an admin intensive operation to collate, organise and aggregate the data yourselves.

My experience. Since I moved back to Nigeria I have had the mis-fortune of being responsible for buying 7 cars in total. Horrendous experience. Time consuming, inefficient and frustrating with 90% of the actual time spent sitting in Lagos traffic going from dealership to dealership. Buying these cars took weeks of time I simply didn’t have. And each dealership required a prolonged and draining negotiation.

No more. CHEKI has dragged this process into the digital age. Cheki were not the first. But they are the best. Why?

* Simple yet super intuitive user interface with minimal fuss or pomp.

* Great search functionality and clean, clear imagery to seduce users into connecting with the dealers and transacting.

* Great mobile optimized website

* Love love love their distribution strategy. I have seen Cheki widgets on Linda Ikeji, Vanguard and a few others. Smart and no doubt data driven.

Once Cheki own the customers or at least the flow of customers, they will monetize like crazy. Real easy. A car is probably the most valuable thing most people will aspire to buy in Nigeria. And controlling those relationships are super important. Cheki are well on the way.