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Larry Illg, CEO Ventures talks global opportunities and lining up for success in foreign markets

Larry Illg, CEO Ventures talks global opportunities and lining up for success in foreign markets Outside of the U.S. and China, 70% of the world’s internet and ecommerce business is happening. Going global sooner can be the difference between an opportunity seized or lost. And sometimes this can be the difference between a business succeeding or ultimately failing.

Many companies with consumer traction and product relevance focus only on their home market. Only after they are established do they think about the prospect of global expansion. 

While there is some logic to this approach, being the first in a market can be critical for success. By the time entrepreneurs get around to global expansion, their path to success may be lost.

Why don’t more companies go international early to reap the benefits available in global markets? We talk to startups all the time and most commonly they give us one or more of the following reasons:
  1. Lack of money. The perception is international expansion puts a significant drain on already stretched finances.
  2. Lack of time. Execs are already stretched building their business in one market.  It is difficult to free up the personnel to focus somewhere else. Often the argument is that opportunities in the home market are bigger and easier to tackle than a new country. We have heard this argument even from accidental tourists. Many entrepreneurs whose models cross borders without any effort do not know how to handle it. Which brings me to …
  3. Lack of expertise. If they find the money and time, they don’t believe they know enough about the market for their services in other geographies. Even where language or currency are not a barrier, countries can become complicated once examined more closely.
These concerns are valid. One solution is an investment partner that offers deep expertise on local market conditions, in addition to providing the usual connections and funding. If starting with a clean board, what would such an investment partner look like? It would:
  1. Enable the startup to gain early access to the right range of international markets.
  2. Provide it with on-the-ground resources and support in those key markets.
  3. Deliver the local knowledge required to tailor the startup’s solution for success in local market dynamics.  
Naspers Ventures combines funding with the deep, global operating experience of the Naspers Group. This provides a unique resource for entrepreneurs to build their businesses around the world. Working with Naspers Ventures provides entrepreneurs with:
  1. Access to Naspers capabilities globally. We have operations and investments in more than 130 countries and focus on markets with long-term growth potential.  These markets include Africa, the Americas, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, India and the Middle East.
  2. Ability to tap into the knowledge and resources of existing Naspers businesses. Most of our companies are market leaders in their sectors. 
  3. Capability to strengthen existing and future positions by driving learning across business functions.  This includes strategy, M&A, product and technology, systems, and talent acquisition and development.
We are always on the hunt for entrepreneurs with business models that are ripe for global growth. If you’d like to know more, please get in touch - [email protected]

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