Annual Sale: Get $200 Off. Ends in
day
hour
minute
second
Please log in or subscribe to read the full article.
Naspers Ventures CEO Larry Illg. Photo by Naspers.
Venture Capital

The Biggest Tech Investor Silicon Valley Ignores

By
Serena Saitto
 |  Feb. 21, 2018 7:01 AM PST
Photo: Naspers Ventures CEO Larry Illg. Photo by Naspers.

You might think the biggest shareholder in China’s largest tech company Tencent was the Chinese government or a local venture capitalist. Instead, it’s a South Africa-based newspaper publisher called Naspers, which parlayed a $32 million investment in Tencent 17 years ago into a stake now worth about $180 billion.

Since hitting gold with Tencent, Naspers has become a diversified e-commerce giant and a global tech investor. And it’s done so while staying below the radar. Unlike global investors like SoftBank, which has invested in big, established U.S. firms like Sprint, Naspers focuses on startups with growth potential in emerging markets, a senior Naspers investment executive, Larry Illg, told The Information in a rare interview.

Get access to exclusive coverage
Read deeply reported stories from the largest newsroom in tech.
Latest Articles
 
The Briefing
Salesforce Pays Up for Slack: The Information’s Tech Briefing
Salesforce Pays Up for Slack: The Information’s Tech Briefing
Salesforce chief Marc Benioff could never be accused of underpaying for a company, as his proposed $27.7 billion cash-and-stock purchase of Slack demonstrates. Salesforce’s price for the enterprise messaging firm is more than a 50% premium over where Slack’s stock was trading before news of the deal broke. The idea that someone else might jump in with a competing bid now seems...
Latest Briefs
 
Trump Threatens Veto of $740 billion Defense Bill Over Sec. 230
India’s Tata in Talks to Buy Alibaba-Backed Online Grocery Startup
Netflix to Double Spending on Original Content in Asia
Stay in the know
Receive a summary of the day's top tech news—distilled into one email.
Access on the go
View stories on our mobile app and tune into our weekly podcast.
Join live video Q&A’s
Deep-dive into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles with our top reporters and other executives.
Enjoy a clutter-free experience
Read without any banner ads.
Slack Deal Could Fulfill Salesforce Chief’s Decade-Old Vision
Startups Microsoft
Slack Deal Could Fulfill Salesforce Chief’s Decade-Old Vision
Salesforce co-founder and CEO Marc Benioff has long had a vision of replacing email with new forms of collaboration software, though his attempts to build that future have mostly fizzled.
Salesforce Goes After Slack: The Information’s Tech Briefing
The Briefing
Salesforce Goes After Slack: The Information’s Tech Briefing
Just in time for the holidays, we have a possible big enterprise software merger. Salesforce’s interest in buying Slack, first reported by the Wall Street Journal , shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.
The Information’s Guide to 10 Must-Stream TV Shows
Media/Telecom Entertainment
The Information’s Guide to 10 Must-Stream TV Shows
The holiday season is a great time to curl up on the couch and immerse yourself in a streaming television show—and that is triply true when a pandemic has fouled up travel and most other opportunities for entertainment.
Insider’s Parent Axel Springer Wants to Help Drive US Media Mergers
Q&A
Insider’s Parent Axel Springer Wants to Help Drive US Media Mergers
Axel Springer, the German owner of Business Insider, is ready to take part in a second wave of consolidation in the U.S.
Amazon Drops Pandemic Test to Track Warehouse Workers Through Wi-Fi
Exclusive Policy COVID-19
Amazon Drops Pandemic Test to Track Warehouse Workers Through Wi-Fi
Amazon has promised to spend billions of dollars this year on safety precautions to protect the workers in its warehouse facilities from the coronavirus pandemic.
Facebook Has a Recipe For Better Social Media. Why Isn’t The Company Using It?
Opinion Facebook
Facebook Has a Recipe For Better Social Media. Why Isn’t The Company Using It?
A New York Times article this week about the struggles within Facebook to get a handle on disinformation after the election illuminates a fascinating idea: surveying users to generate training data for artificial intelligence algorithms.