Home » Startup backed by South billionaire Koos Bekker’s Naspers secures $16 million from Standard Bank

Startup backed by South billionaire Koos Bekker’s Naspers secures $16 million from Standard Bank

Bekker's leadership: Driving Planet42's success in auto financing transformation

by Feyisayo Ajayi
Koos Bekker

Planet42, a pioneering rent-to-buy startup in South Africa backed by Naspers, the global Internet group led and fractionally owned by South African billionaire Koos Bekker, has successfully secured R300 million ($16 million) in funding from Standard Bank Group Ltd.

The strategic partnership signifies a pivotal shift for the Naspers-backed firm, reducing reliance on expensive euro-denominated loans and fostering local-currency financial support. With $150 million in total funding, Planet42’s strategic alliance with Standard Bank, Africa’s largest lender by assets, aims to alleviate financial strains associated with foreign-currency loans.

Eerik Oja, CEO and co-founder of Planet42, emphasized the impracticality of foreign-currency loans for operations rooted in South Africa. This move not only marks a strategic shift towards sustainable growth but also opens avenues for deeper collaboration.

Koos Bekker’s leadership: Driving Planet42’s success in auto financing transformation

Planet42, founded in 2017 in Estonia by Eerik Oja and Marten Orgna, has emerged as a transformative force in addressing transport inequality. The innovative rent-to-buy car subscription model, backed by algorithms assessing credit risk, aims to provide vehicles to individuals traditionally overlooked by conventional banks.

The partnership with Standard Bank is expected to revolutionize auto loans, particularly for demographics underserved by traditional banking institutions.

Naspers’ continued interest in Planet42 underscores the startup’s significance in transforming auto financing dynamics not only in South Africa but beyond. Naspers under the leadership of  Koos Bekker has been a driving force behind Planet42’s success and has been instrumental in supporting Planet42’s growth journey, including a substantial $100 million raised in February 2023.

Planet42 experiences 37-percent revenue surge, set for African expansion in auto financing

Bekker, a visionary entrepreneur renowned for his influential roles at Naspers and Prosus N.V., has seen a noteworthy increase in his net worth, rising by $400 million this year to reach $2.7 billion. This boost is primarily due to his stakes in Naspers (0.96 percent) and Prosus N.V. (0.89 percent), with his Naspers holdings alone valued at R5.3 billion ($280 million). This firmly establishes him as one of the wealthiest investors on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

Thanks to Planet42’s credit risk assessment algorithms, 15,000 individuals in South Africa have gained access to vehicle ownership. The startup, experiencing a 37 percent revenue surge and attracting over 60,000 monthly applicants, is set for expansion not only within the country but also across the African continent.

The recent funding from Standard Bank is a significant milestone toward achieving this goal and transforming auto financing for traditionally underserved demographics.

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