Naspers sets up shop in the United States

 ·11 May 2016

JSE-listed media and internet giant, Naspers, has reportedly set up a company in San Francisco, USA, called Naspers Ventures.

Naspers announced last month (April 2016) that it will change the presentation currency in its financial statements to from the South African rand to the US dollar.

The group said that its board believes that “USD financial reporting provides more relevant presentation of the group’s financial position, funding and treasury functions, financial performance and its cash flows”.

“Today, more than 70% of revenue measured on an economic interest basis (which includes the group’s proportionate share of the revenue of associates and joint ventures) is sourced from outside South Africa,” it said.

The company further explained that its shareholder base is now largely comprised of foreign investors to whom financial reporting in rands is of limited relevance.

According to a report in TechCrunch, Naspers CEO Bob van Dijk said that, while company is well represented in a number of developing markets, it needs to prepare for its next phase of growth.

“But we also realized that to prepare for our next phase of growth, we want to be focused on other, new consumer needs that are being transformed by tech.”

Naspers told BusinessTech: “Today we are announcing the opening of our Naspers Ventures office in San Francisco – historically a hub for internet innovation, where we see an opportunity to invest in US technology/internet companies with the potential to succeed in the US and internationally.

“We believe we can utilize our deep knowledge of consumer internet and international markets to identify companies with business models that can scale internationally. We think, given our experience, that we can help these companies ‘go global’ faster.

Naspers has established investments in the BRIC countries through the likes of Avito and, in Russia; Flipkart in India; Tencent, in China; and Movile in Brazil.

Larry Ilg, CEO of Naspers Ventures, told TechCrunch: “We’re looking to support existing companies that aren’t in the US but that want to attract talent here and potentially bring their models here, as well.”

Naspers Ventures is putting together an office with between 10 and 15 support staff, the online publication said.

According to TechCrunch, Naspers is set to announce a $15 million Series B investment in the social learning network Brainly – based in San Francisco.

Naspers told BusinessTech:

“We are always looking for new areas to invest in the internet, but they must meet certain criteria. They have to be a very high potential market overall and they have to have the ability to scale quickly. In addition we look for the potential for success across a broad range of geographies. Companies with the right business models within the massive EduTech market are a direct hit on all three, so we see it as a perfect fit.

“Brainly, a social learning network with 60 million students in 35 countries, inspires students to share and explore knowledge in a collaborative community and engage in peer-to-peer educational assistance. While already experiencing some international expansion, the focus for Brainly is to build a huge community of students working collaboratively and we will help them accelerate their global growth.”

More on Naspers

Naspers interim revenue climbs 24%, eyes acquisitions

Naspers pumps R1.4 billion into mobile classifieds app

Naspers apologises for its role during apartheid

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