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Naspers Eyes Indian Market, May Soon Launch VC Arm To Expedite Indian Investments

Naspers Eyes Indian Market, May Soon Launch VC Arm To Expedite Indian Investments

South African Internet and media conglomerate Naspers, has reportedly set up a venture capital arm in India to expedite its investments in the country.

According to a report by ET, the firm has roped in Ashutosh Sharma, who has led the India team of Norwest Venture Partners, to lead investments and mergers and acquisitions in the past.

While confirming the report, Sharma said that Naspers Ventures’ strategy will be to back scalable technology startups, which leverage India’s consumption growth. He said, “From a valuation standpoint, this is a good vintage to invest in as they have rationalised.”

Sharma is a Chicago Booth School management graduate, who worked at Qualcomm Ventures before Norwest.

According to two sources, Naspers Ventures is looking to close about half a dozen deals by next year.

As per the report, Naspers has set up an office in Bengaluru. It is expected to focus on early- to mid-stage transactions ranging from $10 Mn to $50 Mn for a minority stake. The firm is looking to invest in technology-focussed startups in areas like healthcare, education, and logistics, besides consumer internet and online retail.

Naspers has invested in OLX, ibibo, PayU and holds a 15% stake in online retailer Flipkart.

This year Naspers has executed two major consolidation plays in the digital space. In September, PayU India acquired local startup Citrus Pay for $130 Mn. Then in October, Naspers sold ibibo Group to rival MakeMyTrip in a stock deal valued at $1.8 Bn.