Picture: IBRAHIM RIFATH/UPSPLASH
Picture: IBRAHIM RIFATH/UPSPLASH

Naspers is planning to increase its stake in Indian online food delivery business Swiggy as the startup plots its third fundraising round of the year, according to people familiar with the matter.

Africa’s largest company by market value has indicated that it intends to support a financing that could raise more than $600m,  Swiggy’s biggest to date, according to the people. There is also an opportunity to buy stakes from investors such as Bessemer Venture Partners, they said, asking not to be identified as the information is not public.

Tencent Holdings, the Chinese internet giant in which Naspers owns a 31% stake, is also planning to invest in the fundraising, according to one of the people.

Naspers declined to comment. Swiggy, Tencent and Bessemer did not immediately respond to e-mails seeking comment. The story was first reported by VC Capital website.

Swiggy’s value has risen to more than $2bn after Cape Town-based Naspers led two previous funding rounds to become the firm’s biggest shareholder, according to the people. Naspers had a 22% stake as of the end of March. The company has not made a final decision on whether to take part in the latest financing and may yet opt against it, one of the people said.

Naspers has targeted India for investments as the company seeks to replicate a blockbuster early bet on Tencent. The company made a $1.6bn profit from the sale of its 11% stake in Indian e-commerce startup Flipkart earlier in 2018, and also has shares in travel business MakeMyTrip and classifieds business OLX.

Food delivery has been a favourite industry of Naspers, with assets including Germany’s Delivery Hero and iFood in Brazil. The company plans to invest in another Indian food company called Hungerbox, a tech-enabled corporate catering company, said one of the people.

Naspers shares have fallen 22% in 2018, valuing the company at R1.2-trillion , as a record slump in Tencent’s share price dragged down its South African investor.

Bloomberg

 

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