Bob van Dijk, CEO of Naspers and Prosus, strikes the gong at Amsterdam's stock exchange as Prosus began trading on the Euronext on Wednesday. Picture: Reuters/Piroschka van de Wouw
Bob van Dijk, CEO of Naspers and Prosus, strikes the gong at Amsterdam's stock exchange as Prosus began trading on the Euronext on Wednesday. Picture: Reuters/Piroschka van de Wouw

Internet group Prosus said on Wednesday it had helped raise $51m (R764.48m) in funding for two Indian start-ups.

Prosus, which was recently listed by Naspers on the Euronext exchange in Amsterdam, is now one of the top 10 largest technology investors in the world. It is invested in digital companies operating in online payments, food delivery and online classifieds. 

Prosus Ventures, formerly Naspers Ventures, led a $40m (R599.60m) funding round for ElasticRun, a virtual logistics network and consumer products delivery business in India. The investment round would help the company expand its logistics network and gain market share in India’s $300bn (R4.49-trillion) logistics industry.

Prosus’s fintech arm, PayU, also led a financing round for $11m (R164.89m) in Indian wealthtech platform, Fisdom. The company said the move marks PayU’s entry into the new wealthtech segment and demonstrates its commitment  to building a broader fintech ecosystem around core payments and lending businesses in India.

Prosus has not said how much it has invested in the two businesses.

The company says it has invested more than $4bn (R59.96m) in its Indian operations and partner companies in the past five years, having invested most notably in businesses such as Meesho’s, BYJU’s and Swiggy. 

Elsewhere, Prosus is bidding for UK-based online food delivery firm Just Eat, wading into a bidding war with Amsterdam-based Takeaway.com. 

The R93bn offer directly to shareholders comes as Prosus continues its strategy of building the business around three pillars: online payments, food delivery, and online classifieds. 

Under the deal, Prosus offered 710p a share in cash for Just Eat, a 20% premium to a rival all-share offer from Takeaway.com, based on last week Monday’s closing prices.

The bidding war took a turn when Just Eat shareholder Cat Rock Capital accused Delivery Hero, part owned by Prosus, of selling down its stake in Takeaway recently as a way to suppress Takeaway’s share price artificially, in turn lowering the attractiveness of the offer, to benefit Prosus’s bid. 

gavazam@businesslive.co.za