A R4.6bn technology fund announced by Naspers on Friday could become the venture capital market for start-ups in SA. Almost a third of the fund, R1.4bn, will be for an initiative called Naspers Foundry, earmarked for "technology start-ups seeking to address big societal needs", Naspers said in a statement issued at the SA Investment Conference. The Foundry will focus on start-ups, meaning they will not necessarily be making a profit. This is in contrast to the traditional technology investment strategy pursued by Naspers. In 2001, it paid $32m for a 34% share in China's $400bn giant Tencent at a time when it was worth a fraction of its current value. In March, it trimmed that stake by 2%, raising almost $10bn. It has since been using this massive treasure chest to invest in technology businesses that shore up its classifieds and e-commerce investments. The Naspers Foundry represents the largest local fund ever directed at early-stage start-ups, often referred to as "pre-revenue". Mo...

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