Home » South African tech tycoon Zak Calisto gains nearly $150 million as Karooooo surges on Nasdaq

South African tech tycoon Zak Calisto gains nearly $150 million as Karooooo surges on Nasdaq

by Feyisayo Ajayi
Zak Calisto

South African tech tycoon Zak Calisto has seen the market value of his stake in Singapore-based mobility platform Karooooo Limited increase by nearly $150 million in the last 24 days despite recording millions of dollars in losses from his shareholding in the company in September.

According to Billionaires.Africa data, the market value of his equity interest in the company has recently risen by $149.2 million, reducing his year-to-date losses to $236.6 million from $385.8 million 24 days ago.

Calisto founded Karooooo, a global mobility software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform, in 2001 with the primary aim of providing stolen car recovery services in South Africa.

The company now offers a mobility SaaS platform for connected vehicles in South Africa, the rest of Africa, Europe, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, and the United States.

With a market value of more than $600 million from his 74.73-percent shareholding in Karooooo, Calisto is one of Africa’s wealthiest technology entrepreneurs. Under his leadership, Karooooo has developed into an international provider of smart transportation management solutions.

The Singapore-based mobility platform’s shares were trading at $24.31 as of press time on Oct. 31 on the tech-heavy Nasdaq stock market, giving the company a market cap of $763 million.

Since Oct. 7, the firm’s stock has risen by more than 32 percent, from $20.05 per share 24 days ago to $26.5 per share at the time of writing.

The market value of Calisto’s stake has risen by $149.2 million, from $463.7 million to $612.9 million, as a result of the price increases.

The recent increase in his net worth has been attributed to a renewed buying interest among value investors who believe the company is currently undervalued, as its annual earnings are expected to grow faster than the American market.

According to data from its recently released half-year report, Karooooo’s profit in the first six months of its 2023 fiscal year rose by 35 percent, from R231.08 million ($12.73 million) in the first six months of 2022 to R311.82 million ($17.13 million).

The increase in profit by double digits may be attributed to an increase in new customers, particularly those with connected vehicles and equipment on Karooooo’s platform, which played a critical role in the rise in revenue from R1.28 billion ($70.2 million) to R1.66 billion ($91.1 million).

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