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Naspers commits R4.6bn of funding to back South African technology businesses

Naspers commits R4.6bn of funding to back South African technology businesses For release: South Africa, 26 October 2018

Naspers commits R4.6bn of funding to back South African technology businesses
 
  • Naspers to boost South African technology sector by R4.6bn over next 3 years
  • Naspers announces Naspers Foundry and commits R1.4bn of funds to help South African technology entrepreneurs grow their start-ups

Naspers today pledged its commitment to a R1.4bn start-up fund to boost the South African technology sector. The initiative – called Naspers Foundry – was announced at the inaugural South Africa Investment Conference 2018 in Johannesburg on Friday, and aims to fund and support South African technology start-ups seeking to address big societal needs. As well as providing much needed funding, Naspers Foundry will help talented and ambitious South African technology entrepreneurs to develop and grow their businesses.

“Technology innovation is transforming the world,” says Naspers chief executive Bob van Dijk. “The Naspers Foundry aims to both encourage and back South African entrepreneurs to create businesses which ensure South Africa benefits from this technology innovation.”

Today, Naspers is one of the largest technology investors in the world, with operations and investments in more than 120 countries and markets. Its portfolio spans technology sectors as far-reaching as online classifieds, payments and fintech, online food delivery, online travel, social and internet services, education, and health. Its Naspers Ventures team already finds and backs promising entrepreneurs and early stage businesses across the world.

“The group started in South Africa and understands the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of South Africans,” said van Dijk. “We believe the best ideas often start locally, with passionate entrepreneurs starting businesses that meet the needs of the communities they know best. And when those needs are universal across the markets we know well, with the right backing, there is the future potential for their businesses to grow beyond their home market.”

Naspers CFO Basil Sgourdos added, “When we invest in an entrepreneur, we are able to bring much more to the table than just funding: we understand what it’s like to build and grow tech businesses, and we share that knowledge to help them succeed. We also recognise the important role that local businesses can play in boosting local economies, which in turn boosts the wider South African economy. That’s why a significant portion of the Naspers Foundry investment will be focused on black-owned South African start-ups.”

Over the next three years, Naspers will invest around R4.6bn in the South African technology sector, with R3.2bn allocated to the development of its existing technology businesses, including OLX, Takealot, and Mr D Food, and R1.4bn committed to Naspers Foundry.

The Naspers Foundry will launch during 2019 and further announcements will be made in due course.
 
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For more information: [email protected]

About Naspers
Founded in 1915, Naspers is a global internet and entertainment group and one of the largest technology investors in the world. Operating in more than 120 countries and markets with long-term growth potential, Naspers builds leading companies that empower people and enrich communities. It runs some of the world’s leading platforms in internet, video entertainment, and media.

Naspers companies connect people to each other and the wider world, help people improve their daily lives, and entertain audiences with the best of local and global content. Every day, millions of people use the products and services of companies that Naspers has invested in, acquired or built, including Avito, Brainly, Codecademy, eMAG, ibibo, iFood, letgo, Media24, Movile, MultiChoice, OLX, PayU, Showmax, SimilarWeb, Swiggy, Twiggle, and Udemy.

Similarly, hundreds of millions of people have made the platforms of its associates a part of their daily lives: Tencent (www.tencent.com; SEHK 00700), Mail.ru (www.corp.mail.ru; LSE: MAIL), MakeMyTrip Limited (www.makemytrip.com; NASDAQ:MMYT) and DeliveryHero (www.deliveryhero.com; Xetra: DHER)

Naspers is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (NPN.SJ) and has an ADR listing on the London Stock Exchange (LSE:NPSN).

For more information, please visit www.naspers.com.

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