Naspers Play to Become South Africa’s Craigslist

By CultureBanx Team

  • Naspers has classifieds businesses in 40 markets

  • The online classifieds market is worth about $24B globally

Africa’s most valuable company Naspers has evolved from largely being a traditional newspaper media company into an internet conglomerate. Now the company is trying to morph again, this time making a multi-billion dollar bet on the future of publishing.

Why This Matters: Naspers is yet to find similar success in Africa like it has with international investments in companies like Tencent, which they own a 31% stake in. So far, several of its investments on the continent in classified platforms and e-commerce marketplaces, notably including Nigeria’s Konga, have been written off.

The online classifieds market is worth about $24 billion globally and has expanded 50% in five years

This new strategy is based around pouring money into online classifieds, payments and food delivery. The online classifieds market is worth about $24 billion globally and has expanded 50% in five years, according to estimates from McKinsey.

The Wall Street journal reported Naspers has classifieds businesses in some 40 markets from Russia to Brazil to the U.S., where the company is going up against Craigslist with a mobile-classifieds app called letgo. Naspers’ classifieds segment was profitable last year for the first time.

In addition to the company’s bet on classifieds being its next frontier, they will invest more than $90 million over the next three years in South African technology entrepreneurs to help them grow their start-ups.

Situational Awareness: A quick history lesson on Naspers: the company started out creating publications that were used as propaganda for South Africa’s National Party, which instituted the apartheid system of racial segregation. When apartheid came under the microscope of international pressure in the 1980s, Naspers started to move beyond its publishing foundation.

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