Naspers Ltd wants to spend about $1 billion in India this year as it scours the globe for investments that can replicate its blockbuster bet on China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd, a person familiar with the matter said.
Africa’s largest company by market value is in talks to inject about $200 million into business loan provider Capital Float and payments security firm Wimbo as a first step, according to two people with knowledge of the discussions, who asked not to be identified as the talks are private.
A Naspers representative declined to comment.
Cape Town-based investment group Naspers is the largest shareholder in gaming and social media giant Tencent and has around $9 billion in cash after trimming its stake last year and selling Indian e-commerce startup Flipkart to Walmart Inc.
Surging smartphone adoption has led to explosive growth in fintech and e-commerce in India and a host of local startups are vying with US giants Amazon.com Inc, Alphabet Inc’s Google and Facebook Inc for a slice of the action.
Some of Naspers’ biggest Indian investments have focused on food delivery. It took some of the proceeds from selling down its Tencent holding to lead a $1 billion funding round for Bangalore-based online food company Swiggy in December.
Part of this year’s $1 billion Indian investment drive could see Naspers increase its presence in food delivery, one of the people said.
Naspers shares have gained 13% this year, valuing the company at 1.4 trillion rand ($97 billion). The group spun off Africa pay-TV provider MultiChoice Group Ltd. last month to focus on its internet and technology investments.
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