SA’s Car Subscription Firm Planet42 Targets Expansion Into Mexico, Brazil

Planet42
Planet42 team

Naspers-backed car subscription company Planet42 is targeting expansion opportunities in Mexico and Brazil. Planet42 is a car subscription company that puts cars in the hands of people unfairly ignored by banks.

There, every year more than 7 million second-hand cars are bought and sold, but Mexico also faces the social and economic challenge of having a large population of underbanked individuals.

After developing a foothold in Mexico, Brazil is the next major market Planet42 is planning on moving into.

“Mexico faces similar challenges to South Africa with an incredibly large population of underbanked professionals and substantial transport inequality,” said Grant Wing, Managing Director (Country Manager) of Planet42 South Africa.

“We feel we can really make a difference there and in other similar emerging markets, including Brazil. Our long-term goal is to have purchased more than 1 million cars by the end of 2025.”

Planet42’s socially inclusive subscription model provides people who are denied a loan by traditional banking institutions, but are willing and able to afford a car, a path to ownership. Its proprietary scoring algorithms and data science technology instantly assesses a customer’s affordability and offers them new or used cars from a list of local dealers located country-wide.

Planet42 then buys the car and rents it to the customer on a flexible subscription basis. Meanwhile, dealers in Planet42’s South African network have seen an average increase in sales of 26 percent since becoming partners.

has seen exponential growth with a tripling of vehicle acquisitions over the last 12 months. The company has purchased 10,000 cars since its inception, providing hardworking, deserving individuals access to much needed personal vehicles. During the same period, Planet42 has extended its reach across South Africa by adding new car dealers to its partnership network, which has now grown to over 800.

The Boston Consulting Group estimates that car subscriptions could become a $30bn-$40bn market in the next 10 years, with Planet42’s rapid growth and recent successful $30 million funding round led by Naspers, is living proof of the business model’s immense demand. Transport plays a key role in providing social inclusion and equality of opportunity.

However, while 75 percent of Europe’s and North America’s urban population has access to public transport, in sub-Saharan Africa that drops to 33 percent according to the United Nations. Many low-to-medium earners with stable incomes that would traditionally get car financing in other countries are unable to in South Africa due to banks’ strict lending criteria. This transport inequality reinforces socio-economic divides, impacting on livelihoods and safety, something which Planet42 is working to address.

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