Naspers Foundry is open for South African startup pitches, CEO says

Naspers’ 1.4 billion rand (≈$100 million) VC fund to support South African startups — Naspers Foundry — is accepting pitches, after making its first investment in online cleaning services company SweepSouth.

The funding initiative also has a new leader, Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa, who joined Naspers in July as a CEO reporting to Group CEO of Naspers, Bob van Dijk.

“We’ll be investing in businesses here in South Africa that have an impact in South Africa. We look for these opportunities all around the country, to the extent that they have South African founders or have a marketplace in South Africa,” Mahanyele-Dabengwa told TechCrunch.

Founders from other parts of Africa with startup operations in South Africa can be considered for funding, she clarified.

Naspers Foundry will back companies that align with the internet businesses on which Naspers focuses — such as food, payments or classifieds — and any other digital venture that addresses a societal need.

On financing size, the Foundry will make equity investments in various amounts, primarily from Series A up to Series B, according to Mahanyele-Dabengwa.

Pre-series funding won’t be on the table, for now, but could be at some point. “We’ve been talking to our stakeholders…and there really

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