A South African Take on the Vision Fund May Be Small, but It Carries No Saudi Baggage

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As SoftBank’s huge Vision Fund came under scrutiny last month over its ties with Saudi Arabia, a small South African fund quietly took a leaf from its playbook.

The limelight-shunning internet and media group Naspers on Oct. 26 unveiled plans to pour $315 million into tech start-ups in its native South Africa. That is one part of a larger $8.2 billion fund that is being overseen by the company to step up growth in its e-commerce ventures.

It is small compared to SoftBank’s $93 billion Vision Fund, which is backed in part by Saudi money. But the Naspers war chest is still worth watching.

As Africa’s largest listed firm, which started a century ago as a…

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