South-Africa based Internet and media company Naspers will continue to provide significant amounts of capital to startups that are operating in the food delivery, classifieds, and fintech segments in India.
The announcement was made by Naspers CEO Bob van Dijk while speaking to the media during the company’s three-day summit being held in New Delhi.
Basil Sgourdos, the group chief financial officer of Naspers, also said that the company would continue to double down on its existing market in India through food delivery company Swiggy, fintech venture PayU India, classifieds company OLX, and travel operator platform MakeMyTrip.
In March 2018, Naspers had sold 190 Mn shares in Chinese Internet giant Tencent. As Inc42 reported earlier, after the share sale, Naspers was looking to utilise the gained capital by stepping up its investments in the Indian ecosystem.
It was in November 2016 that Naspers had revealed plans to set up a venture capital (VC) unit in India to expedite its investments in the country, hinting at its future plans. The firm also roped in Ashutosh Sharma, who earlier led the India team of Norwest Venture Partners, for the purpose.
Flipkart Gave Naspers 32% Annual Returns
While speaking at the summit, Dijk said Naspers earned great returns from Indian ecommerce platform Flipkart. “We earned spectacular returns from Flipkart, a company that started from nothing in this country, by a group of Indian founders, and that’s what we do — 32% annual returns is no shame. Stock markets give you 6%-7%. I’m happy with that,” said Dijk.
Naspers invested in Flipkart in 2012 and pumped in $612 Mn in the company over the years before exiting in May 2018. Naspers made a strategic investment in Flipkart by participating in a $150 Mn Series D funding round in August 2012. It also participated in Flipkart’s $200 Mn Series E funding round in 2013, $210 Mn Series F in 2014, and $1 Bn Series G round in July 2014.
According to Naspers, it has been backing some sizeable companies in India and will continue to do so.
Other Major Bets Of Naspers In India
Naspers was founded by James Barry Munnik Hertzog in 1915 and is headquartered in Cape Town, South Africa. The global Internet and media group operates in more than 130 countries and markets worldwide.
Naspers’ global portfolio shows that all its major investments are in the sectors of Internet, video entertainment, and the media. Earlier, in 2011, the company also launched its payment gateway — PayU — in India, which was deployed on Goibibo and ecommerce portal Tradus.in
Here are a few of Nasper’s major bets in India:
- May 2017: Naspers led an $80 Mn Series E funding in online food delivery startup Swiggy
- February 2018: It led a $100 Mn Series F funding round in Swiggy
- May 2017: Naspers participated in the $5.3 Mn Series A funding of Mumbai-based fintech startup PaySense, along with Jungle Ventures and Nexus Venture Partners
- June 2013: Through Goibibo, Naspers acquired 100% stake in online bus ticketing service redBus and placed it under the umbrella of the Ibibo Group. In 2014, it also acquired a stake in B2B travel portal Travel Boutique Online (TBO)
- 2010: Naspers also owns the classified business OLX, which operates in 40 countries and competes with Quikr in India; Naspers invested an undisclosed amount in OLX
- 2009: It brought ecommerce and travel organisation Ibibo Group to India in a joint venture with China’s Tencent Holdings, in which it acquired a stake in 2001. Also, it invested an additional $250 Mn in the Ibibo Group, raising its stake to 90%, which was finally acquired by MakeMyTrip in October 2016
With a major contribution to the Indian startup ecosystem, especially companies in the technology and ecommerce space, Naspers is looking forward to expanding its reach further in the country.
[This development was reported by ET]