10 Global E-Commerce Marketplaces Backed By Naspers
South African media giant Naspers, Africa’s most valuable company by market cap, is a massive global players within the online space, having backed many e-commerce marketplaces around the world.
The Cape Town-based firm is a global internet and entertainment group that has built a reputation as one of the largest technology investors in the world.
The South African media company, which is listed on the Johannesburg and London Stock Exchanges, has stakes in around 45 technology and media companies around the world, and is involved in e-commerce, television, print media, travel, communications and other sectors in over 120 countries.
The Naspers group has a market capitalisation of $91 billion, making it the biggest tech company in Africa by market cap, and whether currently or in the recent past, Naspers has backed e-commerce properties across the globe.
Here are 10 global e-commerce marketplaces that have been backed by Naspers.
Takealot is South Africa’s largest e-commerce retailer. The online marketplace joined the Naspers group in 2015, when Naspers merged its Kalahari unit, which was once the market leader, with Takealot. Since then, Naspers has backed the online retailer with investment after investment in order to grow the business, taking 96 percent ownership of the company this year, with total investments in Takealot amounting to more than $315 million, according to TheCitizen.
Movile is the leading mobile commerce and content platform based in Latin America, with over 50 million people making use of its apps on a monthly basis. At the end of 2017 Naspers joined Innova Capital in investing $82 million into Movile, according to Techcrunch. Fabricio Bloisi, the founder and CEO of Movile, recently praised Naspers for their backing of his company. “Naspers combines resources and information as a group with the speed and accountability of a startup. This approach has supported Movile’s growth and great results,” he said, according to NaspersVentures.
Based in Central and Eastern Europe, Fashion Days is an e-commerce fashion business in which Naspers has been involved since 2011. Fashion Days offers a range of more than 500,000 products from over 1,000 different brands. Headquartered in Switzerland, Fashion Days has benefited from Naspers’ expertise within the online space to grow its consumer base to more than 6 million, according to the company.
Last month Naspers made a $94 million investment in South African specialized car buying service, WeBuyCars, through the group’s classifieds business, OLX, according to DigestAfrica. The move is part of Naspers’ diversification strategy with investments that are geared towards boosting growth in classifieds, online food delivery and fintech businesses globally.
Spree was an online fashion retailer in South Africa, which was owned by Media24, a Naspers company. Naspers also owns Takealot, a leading e-commerce player in the country, which in turn owned Superbalist, another fashion online retailer. Spree and Superbalist recently merged, allowing for the two companies to combine forces as a single online fashion platform for South African consumers under the Superbalist name, according to Businessinsider. Naspers’ strategic vision enabled the two companies to consolidate sourcing and buying, technical, marketing, warehousing and logistics functions of the two businesses which were both focused on the same market.
AutoTrader, South Africa’s leading marketplace for buying and selling new and used cars, bikes, boats, farm vehicles and more, became part of the Naspers group when it merged with OLX in 2017, despite remaining a standalone brand. The company is 25 years old, and is well established in South African culture as the go-to interactive website for purchasing new or second hand cars. AutoTrader is one of the top 10 most visited websites in South Africa, according to Mybroadband.
In May of this year Naspers sold its entire stake in Indian e-commerce marketplace Flipkart to Walmart for $2.2 billion. This represented a 11.18 percent stake in the online firm, India’s largest property in the e-commerce space, which saw the initial investment from Naspers in 2012, according to ITWebAfrica.
Naspers first invested in Nigerian e-commerce platform Konga in 2013, but earlier this year the company was sold to Zinox Technologies, a Nigerian tech firm. In one of the few cases in which Naspers was not able to ensure a successful outcome for an e-commerce platform, it reportedly made a loss when it sold Nigeria’s biggest online mall for an undisclosed amount, following a $40 million investment from Naspers and Swedish firm Kinnevik in 2014, according to Quartz.
Naspers was previously a major investor in Souq.com, the Middle East and North Africa’s largest e-commerce platform. After an initial undisclosed investment in Souq during 2012, the company invested a further $75 million in the Dubai-based e-commerce platform four years later. In 2017, Naspers sold its 36.4 percent stake in Souq to Amazon for an undisclosed amount that Goldman Sachs described as “the biggest ever technology merger and acquisition transaction in the Arab world”, according to Businesslive.
Naspers previously owned Allegro, a Polish online auction and price comparison platform, but sold its entire stake in the company for $3.2 billion in 2016, according to ITWeb. The South African firm bought Allegro in 2008 for $1.48 billion, growing it into a force within the Polish market and using it to launch Polish products and services for Naspers’ other businesses.
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