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Flickwheel: Revolutionizing Vehicle Maintenance in Nigeria


Nigeria’s automotive landscape is dominated by used vehicles, locally known as Tokunbo. With over 12 million vehicles on the roads, 90% of which are second-hand, car owners face numerous challenges. These include finding reliable mechanics, high repair costs, limited maintenance knowledge, and inefficient repair processes.

Flickwheel, a three-year-old startup, aims to address these issues. The company’s journey began in 2019 when Paul Edward lent money to a friend for car repairs. This experience led Edward to recognize a market opportunity, which he initially managed using an Excel sheet.

After a COVID-19-induced pause, Edward decided to build a mobile app. He assembled a team including Henry Okafor and Steve Amire, leveraging their previous startup experience. The app’s launch saw immediate traction, with 200 sign-ups on the first day.

Flickwheel’s unique selling point is its focus on financing vehicle repairs and maintenance. Users can access funds within 24 hours, with repayment periods of up to four months and interest rates between 8% and 24%. This approach ensures quick repairs for car owners and prompt payment for mechanics.

The startup’s services have been well-received by both car owners and mechanics. Samuel, an auto mechanic and Flickwheel customer, praises the system for increasing his business and client satisfaction. The company reports a low default rate of less than 5% and has financed repairs for 200 vehicles to date.

Flickwheel’s business model includes a service fee for financing and a percentage charge for users who only need vetted technicians. The company has expanded its offerings to include a subscription service covering preventive maintenance and roadside assistance.

To prevent users from bypassing their platform, Flickwheel operates a closed marketplace accessible only to subscribers. This strategy, combined with low subscription fees, helps maintain user engagement.

The startup is exploring partnerships with fleet operators and insurance providers. It’s also developing a portal for vehicle history verification.

Flickwheel addresses the common issue of unreliable blue-collar workers through regular updates during repairs via their mobile app. This feature keeps customers informed about their vehicle’s repair status.

The company has built a network of vetted auto workshops, primarily through user recommendations. They focus on quality assurance, allowing customers to rate services and planning to introduce a dedicated app for mechanics.

Looking ahead, Flickwheel aims to invest in mechanics’ skills and tools through financing options. The startup, which participated in the Accelerate Africa accelerator, is currently raising $2 million in debt and equity to fund its operations and expansion plans.

As Flickwheel continues to grow, it’s poised to make a significant impact on Nigeria’s vehicle maintenance sector. By addressing key pain points for both car owners and mechanics, the startup is driving innovation in an industry ripe for disruption.



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