Naspers wants to spend about US$1-billion (R14.3-billion) in India this year as it scours the globe for investments that can replicate its blockbuster bet on China’s Tencent, a person familiar with the matter said.
Africa’s largest company by market value is in talks to inject around $200-million into business loan provider Capital Float and payments security firm Wimbo as a first step, according to two people with knowledge of the discussions, who asked not to be identified as the talks are private.
A Naspers representative declined to comment.
Cape Town-based investment group Naspers is the largest shareholder in gaming and social media giant Tencent and has around $9-billion in cash after trimming its stake last year and selling Indian e-commerce startup Flipkart to Walmart.
Surging smartphone adoption has led to explosive growth in fintech and e-commerce in India and a host of local start-ups are vying with US giants Amazon.com, Google and Facebook for a slice of the action.
Some of Naspers’ biggest Indian investments have focused on food delivery. It took some of the proceeds from selling down its Tencent holding to lead a $1-billion funding round for Bangalore-based online food company Swiggy in December.
Part of this year’s $1-billion Indian investment drive could see Naspers increase its presence in food delivery, one of the people said. — Reported with assistance from Anto Antony, (c) 2019 Bloomberg LP