In 2001, South African media conglomerate Naspers acquired a minority stake in China’s Tencent Holdings, which operates popular messaging platforms including QQ and WeChat, for $32M. Today, Naspers has reaped the benefits of its 34% stake in Tencent, which has ballooned to a market cap ~$100B since its 2004 IPO.
In fact, Naspers has transformed into one of the most prolific investor-acquirers of tech companies in emerging markets ranging from Nigeria to the Philippines. Below are some high-level trends and data on Naspers investments over the past six years including the geographic regions that Naspers has entered and the areas of tech it is bullish on based on its investment and acquisition history.
Since the start of 2007, Naspers has disclosed 44 investment stakes or acquisitions. But as shown below, its deal pace has slowed as of late with more deals completed in 2010 than the period since 2012.
Distinguishing by geography reveals that Naspers has established its footprint in a host of emerging markets since 2007. In Asia, Naspers has completed deals in countries ranging from Indonesia and the Philippines to India and the United Arab Emirates. In Europe, the firm has invested in eastern European markets including Poland, Romania, Hungary and Russia. And in South America, Naspers has entered Chile, Brazil and Argentina. The chart below highlights the wide range of geographies that Naspers has done deals in.
Breaking down Naspers’ investments and acquisitions by industry reveals that just over 1/2 of its deals since 2007 went to eCommerce firms and over 1/4 went to those in the social space.
More recently, Naspers has taken significant stakes in popular Indian eCommerce marketplace Flipkart and Nigerian online shopping destination Konga.com. Interestingly, several Naspers-backed firms compete directly with those backed by Rocket Internet, the somewhat infamous startup incubator of the Samwer brothers. Konga.com, for example, is a competitor of Rocket Internet’s Jumia, while Dubai-based Souq.com competes with Rocket Internet’s Namshi.