Naspers invested over R500 million in South African start-ups — here is the list

In October 2018, Naspers announced its Naspers Foundry initiative to boost the South African technology sector.

Naspers Foundry’s mandate is to help South African technology entrepreneurs to develop and grow their businesses by using its R1.4 billion fund.

Naspers CEO Bob van Dijk said the fund would encourage and back South African entrepreneurs to create businesses which ensure South Africa benefits from technology innovation.

In July 2019, the global tech giant appointed Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa as Naspers South Africa CEO.

Mahanyele-Dabengwa leads Naspers’ business in South Africa and is responsible for Naspers Foundry and Naspers Labs.

Under her leadership, Naspers Foundry invested in numerous South African technology and finance businesses.

To date, it has invested over R500 million in eleven businesses. Here is a list of these investments.


SweepSouth — R30 million

In June 2019, Naspers Foundry announced its first deal – a R30 million investment in South African tech start-up SweepSouth. The company was co-founded in 2014 by Aisha Pandor and Alen Ribec, and offers an online cleaning services platform that connects clients with trusted, reliable domestic cleaners.

Aisha Pandor


Aerobotics — R100 million

In May 2020, Naspers Foundry announced a R100 million investment in agritech business Aerobotics. Aerobotics was founded by James Paterson and Benji Meltzer in 2014 and is a subscription-based artificial intelligence (AI) company that provides intelligent tools for the agricultural industry to manage crop health and predict crop yields.

Aerobotics


Food Supply Network — undisclosed amount

In September 2020, Naspers Foundry closed its third deal — an investment in Food Supply Network (FSN) on undisclosed terms. FSN, which was founded by Gert Steyn, is an independent business-to-business marketplace that integrates the ordering systems of manufacturers, distributors, and buyers of food products.


The Student Hub — R45 million

In November 2020, Naspers Foundry invested R45 million in The Student Hub. The Student Hub, founded by Hertzy Kabeya, increases access to vocational education for large numbers of students whilst reducing the costs of delivery of education and training.


WhereIsMyTransport — R42 million

In June 2021, Naspers Foundry invested R42 million in WhereIsMyTransport. WhereIsMyTransport, co-founded by Devin de Vries, is a mobility technology company that maps formal and informal public transport networks and uses this data and technology to improve the public transport experience.


Ctrl — R34 million

In July 2021, Naspers Foundry invested R34 million Ctrl. Ctrl, which was co-founded in 2017 by Pieter Venter, provides a unique tech solution to the short-term insurance industry and consumers through its single platform, which connects consumers, brokers and insurers in one place.


Naked — R120 million

In August 2021, Naspers Foundry invested R120 million in Naked. Naked, co-founded by actuaries Alex Thomson, Sumarie Greybe, and Ernest North, is an artificial intelligence (AI)-driven insurtech company that offers a new, fully digital way for consumers to insure their cars, homes, and valuables.


Planet42 — R54 million

In December 2021, Naspers Foundry invested R54 million in Planet42. Planet42 was founded in 2017 and addresses transport inequality by offering an inclusive car subscription service to customers who typically cannot access traditional bank credit.


Floatpays — R15 million

In February 2022, Naspers Foundry invested R15 million in Floatpays. Floatpays, founded in 2019 by Simon Ward, helps customers reduce their reliance on debt, start saving, and gain skills to better manage their money.


Nile — R40 million

In May 2022, Naspers Foundry invested R40 million in Nile. Nile, co-founded by Louis de Kock, supports the movement of fresh produce across the SADC region, making quality food more accessible to people across Southern Africa.


LifeCheq – R53 million

In May 2022, Naspers Foundry invested R53 million in LifeCheq. LifeCheq, co-founded by Abu Addae, uses technology to drive financial inclusion by democratising access to financial advice – previously only accessible to high-income earners.


Now read: Naspers invests R40 million in LifeCheq

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Naspers invested over R500 million in South African start-ups — here is the list