Home » South African billionaire Koos Bekker’s Naspers backs startup in $100-million raise

South African billionaire Koos Bekker’s Naspers backs startup in $100-million raise

by Yusuf Abdulfatai
Koos Bekker

Naspers, the global Internet group led and fractionally owned by South African billionaire Koos Bekker, is supporting Planet42, a startup that offers rent-to-own car subscription services, in a $100 million debt and equity fund-raising.

In addition to the $30-million funding received last year, the startup also gained support from ARS Holdings and Rivonia Road Capital, a Los Angeles-based firm with a strong investment portfolio in consumer, commercial, and real estate lending markets.

Founded in 2017 by Eerik Oja and Marten Orgna, Planet42 offers vehicle financing primarily to individuals who are unable to obtain it from banks.

With the $100-million capital injection, the startup aims to expand its operations in South Africa and Mexico, enabling more people to gain access to their own cars.

Following its recent investment in Planet42, Naspers has furthered its commitment to supporting South African-focused startups through its Foundry fund, bringing the total number of investments in the region to eleven. In an effort to optimize its expansive portfolio of over 80 invested companies, the group is actively streamlining expenses.

Koos Bekker’s 0.96-percent Naspers stake valued at $740 million

Bekker, a visionary entrepreneur and a driving force behind the success of companies such as Naspers, a multinational holding company based in Cape Town, and Prosus N.V., an Amsterdam-based investment group, is one of Africa’s richest individuals.

His net worth has increased by $200 million this year, from $2.4 billion to $2.6 billion, thanks to his stakes in Naspers (0.96 percent), and in the Amsterdam-based investment group, Prosus NV (0.89 percent). His shareholding in Naspers is worth R13.53 billion ($740 million).

Since the beginning of the year, Naspers and Prosus have seen a significant boost in their shares. This is due in part to the strategic decision to reduce the corporate workforce by 30 percent, streamlining operations for more efficient growth.

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