Deal-shy or deal-smart?

Finding The Bearing Of Naspers Foundry’s Largely Untouched $100M Stash

By  |  May 3, 2021

One of the most often-told accounts of some of the most successful venture capital investments of all time is one that references a certain South African firm that used to cut its teeth in print media. That South African firm is currently the most-valuable publicly-traded business in Africa and among the top 100 globally.

And what’s the big deal this company pulled off that is often cited as a masterstroke? Well, they cut a USD 32 Mn cheque to a Chinese tech firm in 2001 and by the time they helped themselves to a ~USD 10 Bn windfall in 2018, that initial investment was valued at over USD 175 Bn.

The same South African firm poured a total of USD 616 Mn into a prominent Indian e-tailer starting from 2012, and pocketed USD 1.6 Bn after selling its stake in the e-commerce venture in 2018.

But of course, wins of such scales are hard to replicate and more so in the very own backyard of the said South African firm which has seen scarce success in its own surroundings. And even with a 3-year-old ~USD 100 Mn war chest solely dedicated to backing tech startups in South Africa, things still seem patchy on the home front.

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