During 2018 Naspers announced that it will be committing R1,4 billion towards funding technology startups in South Africa over three years through a new fund known as Naspers Foundry. The announcement was made during the inaugural South Africa Investment Conference which took place in Johannesburg on 26 October 2018.
To date, Naspers Foundry has invested a total of R130 million in two South African technology startups. Namely, R30 million investment in SweepSouth, South African tech startup with an online cleaning services platform that connects clients with domestic cleaners, during 2019; this was followed up by R100 million investment in Aerobotics, a South African Agritech startup Aerobotics that uses Artificial Intelligence to provide tools for farmers to manage their crops.
In this iAfrikan BYTES podcast, Fabian Whate, Head of Naspers Foundry, explains what the fund and organization do to develop South Africa's technology startups and innovation ecosystem. Fabian also shares the criteria they use to determine whether or not to invest in a tech startup.