A company is looking to transform the way we think about car maintenance in Africa – Introducing Flickwheel
Not everyone owns a car but for some of those who do, constantly keeping the car in a good condition can sometimes pose a challenge.
“I’ve always had my guy friends who run the Uber business reach out to me for ‘small change’ every once in a while to help get their car back on the road. I noticed that this number kept increasing subsequently which sometimes lead to me not being able to help some of my guys due to the high demands.
I always thought if only there was a platform that would serve these guys conveniently without them having to reach out to friends and get disappointed.” – Paul Edward. Co-founder of Flickwheel
As a 9 to 5 employee who worked directly from the office, Henry Okafor, Co-founder of Flickwheel, was also not new to the challenges his colleagues who owned cars faced once it got to the third week of the month. “My colleagues were almost always struggling to drive to work on a daily basis with their personal vehicles due to lack of funds for their vehicle fixes. It became a norm to see them using the public transport system once it gets to the third week of a month. This was why I jumped on the whole idea when Paul reached out to me. I have also always been a tech enthusiast so when he talked about building a platform that would help people like my colleagues solve their vehicle financing issues, I knew I had to be a part of it because I understood the pain point of these guys”.
These case scenarios are not peculiar to just the salary earner and the Uber driver. There are thousands of individuals who face daily life challenges and do not have the finance to also cover their car maintenance/repair costs.
Realizing this struggle, Henry Okafor and Paul Edward decided to tackle this issue and come up with a solution that could solve the car financing gap for car owners in Nigeria. They understood that this experience was one of the reasons most cars we see on the Nigerian road are not road-worthy because more often than not, these car owners would rather ‘manage’ the car than use their last funds to repair/service it.
This gave birth to the first automobile service financing platform in Nigeria – Flickwheel
Flickwheel is a tech-enabled platform that aims to improve the roadworthiness of vehicles across Africa by providing sub-finances for all sorts of vehicle maintenance & repairs. What this means in plain terms is that vehicle owners – About 90% of whom are transporters and salary earners can download the Flickwheel app on their mobile devices, apply to get their car serviced, get the financing they need, and get their cars back on the road **whilst choosing a suitable repayment plan that fits their income flow.**
‘At the end of the day, loan payback breaches, 80% of the time are usually not intentional by the borrower. It is mostly about unforeseen circumstances and unrealistic repayment structure that doesn’t fit user personas.’ – Henry Okafor
Hence, a need for a system that can identify individual user persona based on their income flow and suggest a realistic and effective payback plan for them.
Flickwheel is changing the way vehicle owners think about vehicle maintenance in Nigeria by making its users understand that once you have the funds to cover the cost of your vehicle servicing needs, it does not have to be a burden anymore.
They also introduced a form of human touch to the car servicing experience by introducing what they call the FLICKY FRIEND – This individual is like your personal car service monitoring guide, who oversees and works alongside your auto technician (mechanic) to ensure the car servicing is done in time and to detail. This individual also shares these updates with you in real-time via the Flickwheel app (Introducing the Service Tracker feature).
This takes out challenges that arise with the auto techs using sub-standard car parts or cutting corners in some of their services.
“The Flickwheel team are on top of their game. They have laid out processes that helps them. What stood out to me was the strategy of taking the burden off the client and also ensuring they go the extra mile to meet the customers needs with the FlickyFriend experience.” – Mr Eze (Flickwheel Customer).
Asides from having verified auto technicians on the platform – (over 50 presently), which users can select from based on their proximity, users can also add their trusted or personal auto-technicians and Flickwheel takes time to perform their due diligence on them by carrying out verification and checks to ensure they meet it’s set standard.
Having properly launched in January, they have tested these features with several users and have gotten impressive responses so far.
One core feature that has brought in a lot of visitors to the app is the VIN check feature. With just your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), you can get a detailed Vehicle History Report that covers specifications, savage/accident records, theft records, sales records, ownership records and so much more. This feature comes in handy for users who are looking to purchase a car and need more information on the car.
In the coming days, they hope to launch a portal on their website that serves car owners who have the finance they need to fix their car but would want to experience the Flicky Friend service.
What this means is that any car owner who has a very busy schedule or does not have the time to follow up with their auto technicians can take advantage of its pool of vetted and professional auto technicians, and also enjoy the FLICKY FRIEND experience to fix their cars whilst they pay instantly.
From interest rates that go as low as 5%, to the #FlickyFriend experience that helps you oversee the day to day servicing of your vehicle, to the flexible repayment plan that can span for up to six months, to the automated service tracker feature and down to the freedom of using your own auto technician for your vehicle repairs all embedded in the Flickwheel app, the users of this platform are assured an experience they will never forget.
Thanks to Flickwheel, car owners in Nigeria can now improve the roadworthiness of their vehicles.
To enjoy all of these features, Flickwheel is available to both android and iOS users. You can download the app from Google Play store (Android) and Apple AppStore (iPhone).