Naspers buys Indian – $250m Internet travel startup called Ibibo

By Loni Prinsloo

Naspers_screenshot(Bloomberg) — Naspers Ltd., Africa’s largest company by market value, invested a further $250 million in Indian Internet-travel group Ibibo to strengthen the firm’s market position in hotel bookings and add new technology.

“The Indian e-commerce market, and the online travel segment in particular, offers exciting growth prospects for us as a group,” Naspers Chief Executive Officer Bob Van Dijk said in an e-mailed statement on Thursday. The company has backed Ibibo since it was founded in 2007.

The investment in Indian Internet is the latest evolution of a South African business that started as a newspaper publisher and is now an investor in emerging-market startups including Hong Kong-based Tencent Holdings Ltd. The Cape Town-based company’s shares were little changed on Wednesday at 1,814.78 rand, valuing Naspers at 796 billion rand ($51 billion).