Naspers has announced a new R1.4 billion start-up fund aimed at boosting the South African technology sector.
The initiative – called ‘Naspers Foundry’ – aims to fund and support South African technology start-ups seeking to address big societal needs.
As well as providing much-needed funding, Naspers Foundry will help talented and ambitious South African technology entrepreneurs to develop and grow their businesses, it said.
“Technology innovation is transforming the world,” said 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.”
Naspers CFO, Basil Sgourdos, added that the investment will be more than just funding.
“We understand what it’s like to build and grow tech businesses, and we share that knowledge to help them succeed,” said Sgourdos.
“We also recognise the important role that local businesses can play in boosting local economies, which in turn boosts the wider South African economy.
“That’s why a significant portion of the Naspers Foundry investment will be focused on black-owned South African start-ups.”
Naspers said that it plans to invest around R4.6 billion in the South African technology sector over the next three years.
R3.2 billion of this will be allocated to the development of its existing technology businesses, including OLX, Takealot, and Mr D Food, and R1.4 billion committed to Naspers Foundry, it said.
The Naspers Foundry will launch during 2019, with further announcements to be made in due course.