Naspers, Africa’s biggest tech firm, has this morning pledged to lend R1.4 billion to new in South Africa.
The tech giant announced at the inaugural South Africa Investment Conference 2018 in Johannesburg on Friday and aims to fund and support South African technology start-ups seeking to address big societal needs.
Naspers will create a new initiative, known as Naspers Foundry to help talented and ambitious South African technology entrepreneurs to develop and grow their businesses.
The Naspers Foundry will launch during 2019.
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.
“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.”
Today, Naspers is one of the largest technology investors in the world, with operations and investments in more than 120 countries and markets.
Its portfolio spans technology sectors as far-reaching as online classifieds, payments and fintech, online food delivery, online travel, social and internet services, education, and health. Its Naspers Ventures team already finds and backs promising entrepreneurs and early stage businesses across the world.
“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.”