Naspers half-year results for the six months ended 30 September 2020. Learn more here.
back to news overview

Naspers invests R45 million in local online learning platform as it continues to grow South Africa's tech sector

18 November 2020

Naspers invests R45 million in local online learning platform as it continues to grow South Africa 18 November 2020
  • Online learning platform, The Student Hub, helps TVET colleges to overcome physical infrastructure constraints and improves students’ access to vocational education and training
  • Investment coincides with South Africa Investment Conference 2020 where Naspers is a lead partner
  • Naspers on track with original R4.6 billion investment commitment in growing South Africa’s tech sector
 
Naspers today reaffirmed its commitment to driving increased growth in South Africa’s technology sector through a R45 million investment in the online learning platform, The Student Hub.
 
Coinciding with the third annual South Africa Investment Conference, the latest investment from Naspers Foundry, Naspers’s R1.4 billion early-stage tech investment vehicle, marks its fourth deal, bringing the total investments to approximately R200 million since its launch in 2019.
 
The Student Hub increases access to vocational education to large numbers of students whilst reducing the costs of delivery of education and training. The company helps overcome the constraints of limited physical infrastructure and related resources by partnering with government accredited Technical and Vocational Education and Training (“TVET”) colleges to help them deliver their courses online. The online platform also connects graduates with work opportunities related to their skills set.
 
Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa, South Africa CEO of Naspers said, “The work of Naspers Foundry is one of the key focus areas of our business in South Africa. We believe tech companies have the potential to be the cornerstone of South Africa’s economic growth and we want to play a role in unlocking that potential. Our investment in The Student Hub is an example of how digitalisation has the potential to address unequal access to education, create local opportunities, and enable increased participation towards a more inclusive economy.”
 
Phuthi will be participating in a panel discussion at the main plenary this afternoon titled, Resilience and Adaptation: Investment Commitments and Opportunities.
 
Fabian Whate, Head of Naspers Foundry, said: “Over the last 18 months, Naspers Foundry has supported promising, best-in-class early stage tech businesses run by local entrepreneurs that have significant long-term potential and address societal needs. We are thrilled with our first edtech investment as Naspers Foundry, and we look forward to working with Hertzy and his team at The Student Hub. We continue to execute transactions against a robust pipeline of potential investment opportunities.”
 
Hertzy Kabeya, Founder and CEO, The Student Hub commented, “We are delighted to be partnering with Naspers given their deep international experience in the edtech sector. We are a technology company that believes that improving access to education to millions of students across South Africa is at the core of what we do. Linking graduates with the right economic opportunities that relates to their skills are what the economy needs right now.”
 
The Student Hub digitises TVET course content to present curricula in a personalised and learner-centric environment through a 100% online distance learning model, as well as through a blended learning model to students who attend classes in person at TVET campuses nationwide. The platform provides tools for lecturers and tutors to track individual student performance and for heads of faculties to measure the productivity and performance of lecturers in real time, resulting in a marked increase in pass rates. Its crowdfunding tools assist students in financing their studies and enable donors to follow the progress of their beneficiaries, while an integrated skills marketplace matches graduates to entry-level job placements.
 
In 2019, Naspers Foundry invested R30 million in online home cleaning services business, SweepSouth and R100 million in May this year, in agritech business Aerobotics, a subscription-based artificial intelligence company. In September, it invested in Food Supply Network, a B2B online marketplace that integrates food ordering systems across the food services industry.
 
Of the total R 4.6 billion that Naspers committed to invest at the inaugural South Africa Investment Conference, which includes the R1.4 billion for Naspers Foundry, the group has so far invested ZAR 1.9 billion of its original pledge in its existing South Africa businesses Takealot, Mr D Food, Superbalist, Media24 and OLX.
 
Additionally, R69 million has been invested in Naspers Labs, Naspers’s youth development programme which provides unemployed young people with the confidence and training to pursue tech careers in preparation for a more digitally-driven local economy.
 
Naspers donated R500 million to the Solidarity Fund towards the country’s Covid relief efforts and sourced and delivered R1 billion’s worth of personal protection equipment for South Africa’s frontline healthcare workers earlier this year.
 
For more information please contact:
 
Fabian Whate, Head of Naspers Foundry
Email:           [email protected]
 
Shamiela Letsoalo, Media Relations Director
Mobile           +27 78 802 6310
Email:           [email protected] 
 
 
About Naspers
Established in 1915, Naspers has transformed itself to become a global consumer internet company and one of the largest technology investors in the world. Through Prosus, the group operates and invests globally in markets with long-term growth potential, building leading consumer internet companies that empower people and enrich communities. Prosus has its primary listing on Euronext Amsterdam and a secondary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and Naspers is the majority owner of Prosus.
 
In South Africa, Naspers is one of the foremost investors in the technology sector and is committed to building its internet and ecommerce companies in the country. These include Takealot, Mr D Food, Superbalist, OLX, Autotrader, Property24 and PayU, in addition to Media24, South Africa’s leading print and digital media business.
 
Naspers is also focused on stimulating South Africa’s local tech sector through Naspers Foundry. This is a R1.4 billion investment targeting early stage technology companies in South Africa that seek to address big societal needs. To help address youth unemployment in impoverished communities, in 2019, Naspers launched Naspers Labs, a social impact programme for young, unemployed South Africans aged between 17 and 25. Located in historically disadvantaged communities, Naspers Labs provides youth  with the training and confidence to pursue tech careers.

Naspers has a primary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (NPN.SJ) and a secondary listing on the A2X Exchange (NPN.AJ) in South Africa, and has an ADR listing on the London Stock Exchange (LSE: NPSN).

For more information, please visit www.naspers.com.
 
 
Naspers Foundry
Naspers Foundry is an early-stage business funding initiative focused on technology entrepreneurs in South Africa. In 2019, Naspers Foundry invested R30 million in SweepSouth, an online home and business cleaning services platform that connects clients with trusted, reliable cleaners.
Visit www.sweepsouth.com for more information.
 
After year-end, in May 2020, Naspers Foundry invested a further R100 million in Aerobotics, an agritech company that provides tree crop health and yield intelligence data to the agricultural industry using drone and satellite-enabled AI technology.
Visit www.aerobotics.com for more information.
 
In September this year, Naspers Foundry closed a transaction in Food Supply Network on undisclosed terms. The independent B2B marketplace integrates ordering systems of manufacturers, distributors, and buyers (restaurants, hotels and retailers) of food products.
Visit https://foodsupply.co.za/za/ for more information.
 
Naspers Labs
Naspers Labs is the group’s flagship social impact programme designed to transform and launch South Africa’s unemployed youth into economic activity. Naspers has invested R69 million in Naspers Labs and to date, 2,030 young people have completed the Naspers Labs programme and 956 employment placements have been made. Naspers Labs is evolving their offering to focus on digital skills and training, enabling young people to pursue tech careers.
Visit www.nasperslabs.org for more information.
 
Response to Covid-19 and floods in South Africa
On 30 March 2020, Naspers committed R1.5 billion of emergency aid in support of the South African government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. This commitment has been delivered, with R500 million donated to government’s Solidarity Fund, and R1 billion worth of PPE provided to South Africa’s front-line healthcare workers.
 
At the start of the financial year, in April 2019, Naspers donated R1 million in support of disaster relief and recovery efforts, following the devastating floods in Kwa-Zulu Natal.

Share this story