Naspers eyes fintech deals in RM4b India push


JOHANNESBURG • Naspers Ltd wants to spend about US$1 billion (RM4.09 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 US$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 US$9 billion in cash after trimming its stake last year and selling Indian e-commerce start-up Flipkart Pte Ltd to Walmart Inc.

Surging smartphone adoption has led to explosive growth in fintech and e-commerce in India and a host of local start-ups are vying with US giants 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 US$1 billion funding round for Bangalore- based online food company Swiggy in December.

Part of this year’s US$1 billion Indian investment drive could see Naspers boost its presence in food delivery, one of the people said. — Bloomberg