Naspers invests R54 million ($3.4 million) in car subscription platform Planet42

Naspers invests R54 million ($3.4 million) in car subscription platform, Planet42, that addresses transport inequality

  • Naspers Foundry leads R91 million ($5.8 million) equity round in car subscription company Planet42
  • The equity round is supplemented with R380 million ($24 million) of debt raised from various investors
  • Planet42 bridges the lending gap for customers struggling to access traditional vehicle finance
  • Planet42 investment takes Naspers Foundry’s investments in South Africa-focused technology companies to eight in its three-year existence

Naspers, through its early-stage tech investment vehicle Naspers Foundry, announced a R54 million ($3.4 million) investment in Planet42, a car subscription company addressing transport inequality. The investment is part of a R91 million ($5.8 million) equity round led by Naspers Foundry, alongside existing investors Change Ventures and Startup Wise Guys. Existing debt investors, such as the impact debt fund Lendable, added a further R380 million ($24 million) of debt. The investment in Planet42 is part of Naspers’s R1.4 billion commitment to grow South Africa’s early-stage tech ecosystem and the eighth investment since the launch of Naspers Foundry in 2019.

Planet42 was founded in 2017 and addresses transport inequality by offering an inclusive car subscription service to customers who typically cannot access traditional bank credit. In emerging markets, including South Africa, vehicle finance - and therefore vehicle ownership is out of reach for most low and middle-income earners. This lack of access to reliable, efficient and safe transport can present enduring obstacles, perpetuating inequality and restricting economic mobility. Access to a personal vehicle at an affordable price can be life-changing and a way to level up quickly.

Planet42’s proprietary scoring algorithms are the foundation from which the company is able to bridge this lending gap responsibly, using a wider range of data sources than traditional credit scores to assess risk in the underbanked customer segment. These algorithms determine a suitable budget for each customer and, based on this, subscribers can choose any new or pre-owned car from Planet42’s network of more than 700 local car dealerships. Planet42 buys the car and rents it out to the customer on a subscription basis. The offering enables customers to either buy or return the car to Planet42 at any time. Of the customers served so far, 89% would have had no other means of gaining access to a personal vehicle.

Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa, South Africa CEO of Naspers, said:At Naspers, we are passionate about building leading companies that empower people and enrich communities and we support Planet42’s mission to make a positive impact on people’s lives by addressing transport inequality. This investment builds on Naspers’s growing mobility portfolio, which includes WhereIsMyTransport, Autotrader and OLX Autos, among others.”

Fabian Whate, Head of Naspers Foundry, said: We are delighted to be the first South African investor supporting Planet42 with its next phase of growth. Planet42 is an innovative solution to addressing transport inequality in South Africa and beyond and has the potential to unlock further economic participation. This fits in with our focus of backing purpose-driven technology businesses. Investing in Planet42 is consistent with the portfolio we’ve built to date and Naspers Foundry’s healthy pipeline of potential future investments.”

Eerik Oja, CEO and Co-founder of Planet42, said: “Having access to a personal car is arguably a needless luxury in London but could change your life in a city like Johannesburg. A personal car means that you can get to work reliably or you can apply for that job that is farther away from your home. Planet42’s car subscription model is unique because we focus on the underbanked customer and the second-hand car. This has allowed us to outperform peers who operate in markets like Europe and the US, where car subscription is a solution to a problem that doesn’t really exist - most people can get a bank to buy a car for them. This funding is further proof that we’re on the right path in fighting transport inequality and promoting financial inclusion.”

Since its founding in 2017, Planet42 has purchased more than 7,000 cars for people who are unable to access traditional bank credit. The simplicity and convenience of Planet42’s subscription model provides significant advantages over the traditional car retail approach for customers and dealers alike dealers who work with Planet42 experience an average increase in sales of 26%.

In addition to its rapid growth in South Africa, Planet42 recently bought its first cars for clients in Mexico, a country of over 128 million people who face similar challenges stemming from transport inequality. A high proportion of Mexico’s population are under-banked, with limited access to credit due to a high reliance on cash only transactions.

The funds raised in this round will be used to expand Planet42’s car inventory in both South Africa and Mexico, putting the company on track to achieve its ambitious global goal of providing 1 million cars to people facing transport inequality by 2025. 


About Naspers:

Established in 1915, Naspers has transformed itself to become a global consumer internet company and one of the largest technology investors in the world. Through Prosus, the group operates and invests globally in markets with long-term growth potential, building leading consumer internet companies that empower people and enrich communities. Prosus has its primary listing on Euronext Amsterdam and a secondary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and Naspers is the majority owner of Prosus.

In South Africa, Naspers is one of the foremost investors in the technology sector and is committed to building its internet and e-commerce companies in the country. These include Takealot, Mr D Food, Superbalist, OLX, Autotrader, Property24 and PayU, in addition to Media24, South Africa’s leading print and digital media business.

Naspers is also focused on stimulating South Africa’s local tech sector through Naspers Foundry. This is a R1.4 billion investment targeting early-stage technology companies in South Africa that seek to address big societal needs. To help address youth unemployment in impoverished communities, in 2019, Naspers launched Naspers Labs, a social impact programme for young, unemployed South Africans aged between 17 and 25. Located in low income, urban settings, Naspers Labs provide a structured development journey enabling young people to enter the economy.

Naspers has a primary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (NPN.SJ) and a secondary listing on the A2X Exchange (NPN.AJ) in South Africa and has an ADR listing on the London Stock Exchange (LSE: NPSN).

For more information, please visit www.naspers.com.

About Naspers Foundry: 

Naspers Foundry is an early-stage business funding initiative focused on technology entrepreneurs in South Africa. Over the past year, Naspers Foundry invested R30 million in SweepSouth, an online home and business cleaning services platform that connects clients with trusted, reliable cleaners. Visit SweepSouth for more information.

After year-end, in May 2020, Naspers Foundry invested a further R100 million in Aerobotics, an agritech company that provides tree crop health and yield intelligence data to the agricultural industry using drone and satellite-enabled AI technology. Visit Aerobotics for more information.

In September 2020, Naspers Foundry closed a transaction in Food Supply Network on undisclosed terms. The independent B2B marketplace integrates ordering systems of manufacturers, distributors, and buyers (restaurants, hotels and retailers) of food products. Visit Food Supply Network for more information.

In November 2020, Naspers Foundry invested R45 million in The Student Hub, an edtech company that increases access to vocational education to large numbers of students whilst reducing the costs of delivery of education and training. Visit The Student Hub for more information.

In June 2021, Naspers Foundry invested R42 million in mobility technology company WhereIsMyTransport. The company maps formal and informal public transport networks and uses this data and technology to improve the public transport experience for millions of consumers in high-growth megacities globally.

Visit https://www.whereismytransport.com for more information.

Naspers Foundry invested R34 million in digital short-term insurance advice platform, Ctrl in July 2021. Ctrl provides a unique tech solution to the short-term insurance industry and consumers through its platform, connecting consumers, brokers and insurers in one place. The platform enables brokers to provide insurance advice digitally and allows underserved consumers to easily compare multiple quotes, obtain advice, accept cover and manage their policies.

Visit https://www.takectrl.co.za for more information.

Visit Naspers Foundry for more information.

Naspers Labs

Naspers Labs is a youth development programme designed to transform and launch South Africa’s unemployed youth into economic activity. Naspers Labs is evolving their offering to focus on digital skills and training, enabling young people to pursue tech careers.

Visit nasperslabs.org for more information.

Naspers for Good 

Naspers for Good is a corporate philanthropy fund administered by a committee of employees in South Africa. Through the fund, Naspers forms partnerships with organisations that have a proven track record of delivering solutions for the most pressing challenges affecting our communities. Email us for more information.

Response to Covid-19

Naspers contributed R1.5 billion of emergency aid in support of the South African government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. This contribution consisted of R500 million towards the Solidarity Fund, and R1 billion worth of PPE sourced and distributed to South Africa’s front-line healthcare workers. In addition, Naspers contributed R6.9 million to the Nelson Mandela Foundation’s EachOne FeedOne programme to support families who have been impacted by Covid-19 with meals for a year.

About Naspers

Established in 1915, Naspers has transformed itself to become a global consumer internet company and one of the largest technology investors in the world. Through Prosus, the group operates and invests globally in markets with long-term growth potential, building leading consumer internet companies that empower people and enrich communities. Prosus has its primary listing on Euronext Amsterdam and a secondary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and Naspers is the majority owner of Prosus.

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