Naspers Wilting In The Heat + DEMO Africa 2016 Highlights

The gravy train may well be over at Africa’s largest tech company (by market value) — Naspers.

Naspers CEO, Koos Bekker, told investors last Friday that the coming year is going to be a trying one. At this point, the company has only one card up its sleeve, and it’s called Tencent Holdings. After all, Naspers’ 33 percent stake in Chinese technology company currently accounts for almost half its revenue, and its internet and pay-tv businesses are stalling at a time when they desperately need growth to keep competitors like Google, Facebook and Amazon at bay.

Bekker’s cautionary statements led to a .3% decline in the firm’s share price, which seems like a tame reaction considering that S&P Global Ratings had already changing its outlook on Naspers’ credit rating to BBB-, which is only one step up from junk status. In short, it’s rough in these streets.

Last week saw DEMO Africa hosted in Southern Africa for the first time in its five year history. DEMO Africa 2016 went down in Sandton, Johannesburg late last week, and I’m pleased to say that it exceeded my expectations in almost every way. The conference brought together 27 startups from across Africa, angel investors, VCs, enterprise representatives and public officials all under one roof fto engage in dialogue and to witness adjudicated pitching sessions.

What was most impressive, though, was the Pan-African crowd and the quality of the engagement I saw taking place. In this episode of the African Tech Round-up I share snippets of great conversations I had with power players who are intricately involved with the continent’s tech ecosystem.

Tune in for insights from Angel Investor and Founding President of the African Business Angels Network, Tomi Davies, Microsoft’s Director for Venture Capital & Start-ups, Africa Initiatives, Amrote Abdella, the City of Joburg’s Director of Economic Development Facilitation, Tsholo Mogotsi, Angel Investor, Farouk Jivani, and Managing Partner of the Lions @frica initiative, Stephen Ozoigbo.

First published in AfricanTechRoundup.com.

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