Naspers has announced a $100 million Naspers Foundry fund to support South African tech startups. This is part of a $300 million (1.4 billion Rand) commitment by the South African media and investment company to support South Africa’s tech sector overall. Naspers Foundry will launch in 2019.
The initiative – called Naspers Foundry – was announced at the inaugural South Africa Investment Conference 2018 in Johannesburg and aims to fund and support South African technology start-ups seeking to address big societal needs.
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.”
“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.”
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.