Home » 7 companies owned by South African tech tycoon Zak Calisto

7 companies owned by South African tech tycoon Zak Calisto

by Feyisayo Ajayi
Zak Calisto

South African tech magnate Zak Calisto ranks as one of the top figures in Africa’s tech industry. The tech billionaire is the brain behind the success of Karooooo, the sole owner of Cartrack, a company specializing in real-time mobility data analytics for intelligent transportation.

Calisto’s journey began in the late 1990s when he worked at Vehicle Tracking Services, a telematics service distributor, from 1994 to 2001. This experience laid the foundation for his subsequent ventures.

Today, he is renowned as one of Africa’s wealthiest tech entrepreneurs. He has transformed Karooooo into a global leader in smart transportation solutions. Established in 2001, Karooooo initially focused on stolen car recovery, evolving into a prominent mobility platform.

Calisto owns 74.73 percent of the Nasdaq-listed Cartrack, offering real-time mobility data analytics for intelligent transportation. Under his leadership, Karooooo operates in 23 countries across five continents, serving over 1.7 million users worldwide.

Billionaires.Africa has identified several companies and holdings associated with Calisto, including seven companies where he holds direct or indirect ownership.

  1. Karooooo
    Calisto, a prominent South African entrepreneur, founded Karooooo Limited in 2001 with an initial focus on vehicle recovery services in South Africa. Over the years, Karooooo has transformed into a global leader in smart transportation management solutions, serving clients in 23 countries across five continents and boasting a user base exceeding 1.4 million people worldwide. This Singapore-based mobility platform is dual-listed on the Nasdaq and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, with Calisto as the majority shareholder, holding a 74.73-percent stake valued at $567.6 million.
  1. Cartrack Holdings
    As a wholly-owned subsidiary of South Africa’s Karooooo, Cartrack offers cutting-edge real-time mobility data analytics solutions. Its offerings encompass smart transportation, driver behavior analysis, insurance risk assessment, safety features, and asset recovery. Established in 2004, Cartrack has organically expanded its operations to 23 countries, delivering data analytics, artificial intelligence, and value-added services under the astute guidance of Calisto.
  1. Carzuka
    Carzuka, a 100 percent owned enterprise, is a versatile platform that facilitates both physical and e-commerce vehicle buying and selling. Under the leadership of Calisto, Karooooo is actively exploring the sale of Carzuka, aiming to integrate much of its workforce into Cartrack. This strategic move will leverage the valuable components within Carzuka’s platform to enhance the existing Cartrack fleet platform while streamlining operating expenses.
  1. Cartrack Education Fund
    The Cartrack Education Fund reflects the commitment of the Cartrack Group, led by Calisto, to contribute a portion of its revenue towards providing educational opportunities. These opportunities extend to children from impoverished communities and employees and their children. Furthermore, the fund supports non-profit organizations such as Wheel Well and the Car Seats for Kids campaign, which raises awareness about the importance of proper car seat usage. This initiative has already positively impacted 250 children, including 241 primary and secondary school students and 9 tertiary education scholars, ensuring a brighter future for those in need.
  1. Karooooo Logistics
    Karooooo Logistics is a subsidiary of Karooooo Limited that specializes in software applications for efficient last-mile delivery and general operational logistics. Under the leadership of Calisto, Karooooo Limited holds a majority stake of 70.1 percent in Karooooo Logistics, formerly known as Picup Technologies in South Africa. It is renowned for providing real-time data analytics and business intelligence solutions, enhancing operational efficiency and logistics management.
  1. Cartrack Insurance Agency
    Cartrack Insurance Agency, a subsidiary of Cartrack Holdings, has been a key player in the mobility insurance sector for over 15 years. The agency provides insurance telematics solutions, emergency services for car crashes, and vehicle recovery services in high-crime regions, such as South Africa. Their expertise has led to reduced insurance premiums and a proven track record in promoting safe driving practices.
  1. Purple Rain Properties
    Incorporated in 1998 and headquartered in Gauteng, South Africa, Purple Rain Properties underwent a significant transformation on Feb. 28, 2022. At that time, the Karooooo Group acquired 100 percent of the shares in Purple Rain Properties, treating the transaction as an asset acquisition. Notably, Purple Rain Properties is now wholly owned by Cartrack Holdings, with Calisto serving as the majority shareholder and director on its board. This strategic acquisition adds depth to Calisto’s diverse business portfolio.

You may also like


The world’s premier source of news on Africa’s billionaires and UHNWIs.


Get the daily email to stay informed about African billionaires and UHNWIs. Get informed and entertained, for free.

Latest News

@2024 – Billionaires.Africa. All Rights Reserved.