South African based listed internet and media group Naspers, said on Monday it had invested an additional $75 million in Souq.com, Middle East and North Africa’s largest e-commerce platform. The funds will be used to develops the e-commerce technology and mobile services, Reuters reported.
The latest investment by Naspers in Souq.com — a Dubai-based firm — brings the total money the Dubai firm has raised to $150 million. Souq.com says it has over 6.2 million registered users and 23 million visits per month to its website.
“We have invested another US$75 million in the Souq Group, the market leader in the fast-growing e-commerce market in MENA (Middle East and North Africa). This forms part of our broader strategy to build e-commerce businesses in developing countries around the world.
“The additional funding into Souq Group will be used to deepen their technology investment and to focus further on innovation to provide customers with a unique and advanced mobile experience, a personalized user experience, and unprecedented delivery and customer service quality. Souq Group will also invest in its talent pool,” Naspers told BusinessTech
Shares in Naspers advanced 5.5 percent on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange on Monday after the announcement, to R1,219 ($122) each, taking the group’s market cap to $510 million.
Naspers currently has a 36 percent interest in Souq.com, having initially acquired a 30 percent interest in the e-commerce firm – which has operations in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Kuwait – for $32 million in cash in October 2012. In June 2013, it acquired an additional six percent interest in Souq for $30 million in cash.