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Saturday, January 29, 2022

News24.com | Naspers makes R54 million in alternative vehicle finance startup

The investment in Planet42 is part of Naspers’s R1.4 billion commitment to grow South Africa’s early-stage tech ecosystem.

  • Planet42 offers rent-to-buy services to people who can’t access funding from banks.
  • The company aims to bridge the “mobility gap” through alternative credit scoring service for finance.
  • Planet42 also has operations in Mexico, a country with a large unbanked population.

Naspers Foundry has invested R54 million in Planet42, a startup company that provides rent-to-buy car subscription to people who cannot access traditional bank credit.

Planet42 was founded in 2017 and aims to bridge the “mobility inequality” – in a country where vehicle funding is largely dependent on access to vehicle finance and banking history.

Naspers Foundry, which invests in early-stage tech companies has made a number of investments in the country’s innovative startups, including small entities in online education and the growing fintech sector. 

Planet42 has operations in South Africa and Mexico, and Naspers Foundry said the funds raised in this round will be used to expand Planet42’s car inventory in  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”.

“We support Planet42’s mission to make a positive impact on people’s lives by addressing transport inequality,” said South Africa CEO of Naspers, Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa.

“This investment builds on Naspers’s growing mobility portfolio, which includes WhereIsMyTransport, Autotrader and OLX Autos, among others.”

Planet42’s uses data sources other than the traditional credit scores to assess applicants’s risk, especially those in the under-banked segment, to provide lending to clients needing car finance.

In Mexico, where Planet42 has a presence, a large number of the population is said to be under-banked, with limited access to credit due to a high reliance on cash-only transactions, while the South African market is faced with a challenge of a lack of reliable public transportation service, making car ownership a necessity to many.

“Planet42 is an innovative solution to addressing transport inequality in South Africa and beyond and has the potential to unlock further economic participation,” said Fabian Whate, Head of Naspers Foundry.

“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.”

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.

In July, Naspers Foundry added Ctrl, a digital short-term insurance advice platform, to its stable in a R34 million investment,  which was followed in August by a R120 million injection into  online insurance company Naked Insurance.

* Fin24 is part of Media24, a subsidiary of Naspers.

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