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Naspers Foundry is open for South African startup pitches, CEO says

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.

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