Home African CEOs Interviews Planet42: Taking Car Subscriptions for South Africa’s Unbanked to the Next Level
Interviews - February 18, 2021

Planet42: Taking Car Subscriptions for South Africa’s Unbanked to the Next Level

Planet42 is a South Africa-based fintech startup that is making it possible for more people to own vehicles via its tech-driven solution which breaks the barriers created by financial exclusion. This startup is ensuring that people who are not recognised or documented by banks have access to vehicle loans and are able to own their own cars.

Prospective car owners submit their applications to Planet42. These are reviewed by an automated scoring algorithm, providing a preliminary creditworthiness evaluation and generating a proposal.

If the client agrees to the terms, Planet42 verifies the identity and bank account information of the applicant, and a contract is signed. The customer’s preferred car is then purchased by Planet42 from the dealership and leased out to the applicant on a long-term basis. The rental payment covers the comprehensive and mechanical insurance, and GPS tracking of the vehicle.

Leveraging technology to mitigate risk and promote financial inclusion, Planet42 buys second-hand cars from a network of motor dealers and gives them out to customers on a rent-to-own basis.

It’s been a great ride for the fintech startup since it was founded in 2017. The startup  has received a total of $20 million in funding and has sold over 2,000 second-hand cars in South Africa, and plans to purchase 100,000 cars by 2024


How it all Started

While analysing various business ideas in South Africa, Eerik Oja and his co-founder Marten Orgna noticed that hard-working people were being ignored by banks for vehicle loans even when they had stable incomes and could clearly afford it. 

To Eerik and Marten that a bank would refuse to fund a car for a teacher, sales rep, or nurse who earns enough to cover the cost, was inexcusable. There was something clumsy and risk-averse about how banks approached this. Hence the duo set out to create a solution.

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