South African car subscription service Planet42 raises $100m in equity and debt

South African car subscription service Planet42 raises $100m in equity and debt

South African car subscription service Planet42 raises $100m in equity and debt

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Planet42, a South Africa-based car subscription company that buys used cars from dealerships and leases them to customers through a subscription model, has raised $100m in equity and debt from… a wide range of investors.


Naspers, through its seed investment vehicle, Naspers Foundry, co-led the $15m seed round (the South Africa-based investor also led the previous $30m round of Planet42 end of 2021) alongside ARS Holdings. The funding round welcomed participation from existing and new shareholders, including Capital of the Rivonia route; the Los Angeles-based global alternative asset manager provided a $75 million credit facility. Planet42 also received $10 million in debt funding from private investors.

According to the company, the new financing, consisting of equity, credit facilities and debt, will rapidly scale its business and provide one million cars worldwide to people excluded from traditional car financing.

So far, the mobility startup founded in Estonia which offers car rental subscriptions to purchased over 12,000 cars for customers in South Africa and Mexico. When co-founder and CEO Eerik Oja spoke to TechCrunch in a December 2021 interview, Planet42 claimed to have distributed over 7,000 cars to customers in South Africa; according to a statement released by the company, it bought more than 5,000 vehicles in this African country in the last 12 months. Also, the six-year-old mobility startup began an expansion campaign in Mexico last year and delivered 250 cars to customers there.

Planet42 says its expansion into Mexico is part of its strategy to tackle transport inequalities on a global scale. According to the UN, only half of the world’s urban population has adequate access to public transport, and many of those who do not have access to reliable public transport are salaried workers in emerging markets who, despite bank accounts and stable incomes, are unable to obtain financing from traditional financial institutions to purchase their own vehicles.

In South Africa, 70% of vehicle finance applications are rejected by banks, according to, Planet42 dealers, which have grown from 700 in 2021 to 1,000 dealers, are reporting up to 90% rejection rates. Planet42 is one of the few startups, including Moove, Autochek and FlexClub, to focus on the African market and to fight against this inequality through different mobility offers.

For Planet42, it uses proprietary scoring algorithms to assess risk in underbanked customer segments. And thanks to its algorithms, customers can find out what budget suits them and choose new or used cars from Planet42’s dealer network. After that, Planet42 buys the car and leases it to the customer on a subscription basis. Planet42 says that of all customers served so far, 89% would have had no other means of accessing a personal vehicle. Resellers in Planet42’s South African network have reported an average sales increase of 26% since becoming partners, the company said in a statement.

“Safe and reliable transport is a key driver of social and economic inclusion in emerging economies. It makes it easier for people to access opportunities like jobs, education and public services when public transport is often unreliable, painfully slow, dangerous – and usually all of these things.” said Oja, who founded Planet42 with chief financial officer Marten Orgna, in a statement. . “We are here to make transport more accessible and are constantly working to make Planet42’s car subscription offer accessible to people unfairly ignored by banks.

The company has raised over $150 million in equity and debt from investors including Naspers, Change Ventures, Startup Wise Guys, Martin Villig (Bolt), Ragnar Sass (Pipedrive) and Andrew Rolfe. He became certified carbon neutral in 2021. According to Daniel Zinn, Founder and Managing Partner of Rivonia Road Capital Rolfe, one of Planet42’s newest investors, “Rivonia Road is delighted to partner with Planet42 in providing the capital needed to address this market inefficiency and help democratize access to mobility for thousands of underserved consumers around the world.


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