Naspers to invest R4.6bn in existing and startup tech companies in SA

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Cash for new businesses will come from an initiative called Naspers Foundry.

Naspers said it will spend about R4.6bn on new and existing technology companies in SA, a sign of support from the media and internet giant as the country seeks to woo fresh investment.

Africa’s biggest company by market value will put R1.4bn rand toward local startups, with the balance going to Naspers units including online retailer Takealot and delivery service Mr D Food. Cash for new businesses will come from an initiative called Naspers Foundry, the firm said in an e-mailed statement on Friday.

The announcement comes during SA’s first investment summit, which started in Johannesburg on Thursday. President Cyril Ramaphosa is seeking to attract about $100bn into the economy, which hasn’t expanded at more than 2% annually since 2013. In his budget speech this week, finance minister Tito Mboweni said government debt would peak later and at higher levels than previously forecast, while state revenue was lower than expected. The rand plunged.

Naspers began as a local newspaper company just more than a century ago, and has grown into a global owner of internet and technology companies with operations in more than 120 countries. Its most successful investment was a 2001 backing of Chinese startup Tencent, now the Asian country’s largest company with a market value of HK$2.5-trillion ($319bn). Source: Business Day

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