Naspers is planning to increase its stake in Indian online food delivery business Swiggy as the start-up plots its third fundraising round of the year, according to people familiar with the matter.
Africa’s largest company by market value has indicated that it intends to support a financing that could raise more than US$600-million (R8.6-billion), Swiggy’s biggest to date, according to the people. There’s also an opportunity to buy stakes from investors such as Bessemer Venture Partners, they said, asking not to be identified as the information isn’t public.
Tencent, the Chinese Internet giant in which Naspers owns a 31% stake, is also planning to invest in the fundraising, according to one of the people.
Naspers declined to comment. Swiggy, Tencent and Bessemer didn’t immediately respond to e-mails seeking comment. The story was first reported by the VC Capital website.
Swiggy’s value has risen to more than $2-billion after Cape Town-based Naspers led two previous funding rounds to become the firm’s biggest shareholder, according to the people. Naspers had a 22% stake as of the end of March. The company hasn’t made a final decision on whether to take part in the latest financing and may yet opt against it, one of the people said.
Naspers has targeted India for investments as the company seeks to replicate a blockbuster early bet on Tencent. The company made a $1.6-billion profit from the sale of its 11% stake in Indian e-commerce start-up Flipkart earlier this year, and also has shares in travel business MakeMyTrip and classifieds business OLX.
Food delivery has been a favourite industry of Naspers, with assets including Germany’s Delivery Hero and iFood in Brazil. The company plans to invest in another Indian food company called Hungerbox, a tech-enabled corporate catering company, said one of the people.
Naspers shares have fallen 22% this year, valuing the company at R1.2-trillion, as a record slump in Tencent’s share price dragged down its South African investor. — Reported by Loni Prinsloo and Saritha Rai, (c) 2018 Bloomberg LP