Naspers’ 1.4 billion rand (≈$100 million) VC fund to support South African startups — Naspers Foundry — is accepting pitches, after making its first investment in online cleaning services company SweepSouth.
The Foundry is part of a 1.4 billion rand (≈$314 million) overall commitment by Naspers to support South Africa’s tech sector.
Naspers was also an early investor in Chinese tech group Tencent, selling $10 billion in shares this year after a $32 million investment in 2001.
Though Naspers Foundry will not back startups outside South Africa, Mahanyele-Dabengwa noted that its parent — Naspers — can finance ventures anywhere on the continent, if it sees the right opportunity.
The $100 million fund Mahanyele-Dabengwa leads could help South Africa surge in Africa’s increasingly competitive tech landscape.
In Africa’s tech ecosystem — which only recently surpassed $1 billion annually in VC funding — Naspers Foundry’s $100 million could shift the startup financing lead back toward South Africa.