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Naspers Foundry calls on VC firms to help co-invest in SA tech startups


Naspers has called on venture capital (VC) firms to approach the tech company to co-invest with its over R1.4-billion startup funding initiative Naspers Foundry.

Naspers executives of mergers and acquisitions Louise Stuart urged local SA VCs, especially early-stage specialists that have investments which need later stage funding, to come forward and take part in investing in deals with the tech company.

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Stuart was speaking yesterday during a panel discussion at the Africa Early Stage Investment Summit (AESIS) in Cape Town,

“We have $100-million to invest in specifically South African businesses, we want it done in the next three years,” she said.

“Please bring your deals to us because we’ve got a fair amount of capital,” added Stuart.

Bring your deals to Naspers Foundry because we’ve got a fair amount of capital, says Naspers’ Louise Stuart

In June Naspers announced that its R1.5-billion venture capital (VC) fund Naspers Foundry, which is aimed at SA startups, has made its first deal, with a R30-million investment in SA startup SweepSouth.

The fund was launched in October last year by Naspers with the aim of investing in the SA technology sector (see this story).

‘Looking to invest in tech platforms’

Stuart explained that when it comes to the tech company itself (rather than Naspers Foundry), Naspers sources its more “interesting opportunities” from local VC networks. She said the group’s three main verticals are food deliveries, classifieds and fintech.

She added that ultimately Naspers looks for businesses that are run by entrepreneurs and are fulfilling a big society need.

“We’re looking for businesses that have a platform potential, we love the platforms, we love the competitor dynamics that platforms bring, We are looking for businesses that will grow into market leaders in the long term,” she said.

Naspers, through its media relations director for South Africa Shamiela Letsoalo, said today that VCs that are looking for co-investors or those looking for a potential exit of one of their portfolio businesses should get in touch with Naspers Foundry so it can ascertain whether the business will be a good fit or not.

AESIS 2019 kicked off on Wednesday and ends today.

The summit is an initiative of VC4A and the Africa Business Angel Network (ABAN). It brings together leading investors from Africa and beyond to network, exchange insights, create partnerships and make deals.

Read more: Naspers’ $2.3bn in Indian firms since 2011 dwarfs SA tech investments [Updated]
Read more: Naspers Foundry announces its first investment, with R30m in SweepSouth
Read more: The silent Naspers coup: how Koos Bekker gave away the family jewels [Opinion]
Read more: Do you want to treat Naspers like a small family business? [Opinion]
Read more: Naspers to launch R1.4bn fund to back SA tech startups
Read more: How Naspers could help find SA’s next great tech startups [Opinion]

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