In its annual report, Naspers, the South African media conglomerate, has reported that it invested ZAR 76 million (around $10.29 million at current rates) in ‘Development Costs’ in MIH India (Ibibo) during the financial year ended March 31st 2010. This is less than the ZAR 98 million it had invested in the company during the 2008-09 fiscal. What’s also notable is that Chinese Internet major TenCent, which Naspers owns a small stake in, has only acquired 10% stake in MIH India so far.

MediaNama readers may remember that in June 2008 TenCent had inked a deal that gave it the option of acquiring up to 50% in MIH India; in return, MIH India and its subsidiaries were given a license to use TenCent’s technology and content in India, exclusive for seven years, along-with other support services. In its annual report, Naspers has reported that TenCent exercised its option for 6% in December 2008, and another 4% more recently, in March 2010. Thus, Naspers still owns 90%, though it treats MIH India has a joint venture with TenCent.

Naspers also owns 30% in Mobile VAS company ACL Wireless, 36.1% in mobile advertising and content company Buzz City, and 43.6% in Mobile Instant Messenger and Internet Telephony service Nimbuzz.

Ibibo To Launch Payment Platform? GoIbibo Crosses $1M Transactions Per Month

Naspers annual results presentation lists “Ibibo Pay” as one of the company’s initiatives, apart from e-commerce, Social Games and Mobile. So is Ibibo planning a payments module like eBay’s Paisa Pay? Ibibo also launched Tradus, Naspers’ e-commerce business, in India last year, and also launched Social Games, which it took mobile. So they would have tied up with banks and credit card companies for ecommerce, as well as telecom operators for mobile based micropayments rolled out earlier this year.

Interestingly, the presentation also mentions that GoIbibo, the companys online ticketing venture, has crossed $1 million in monthly transactions (by the end of FY10). According to Comscore Ibibo’s traffic rose by 123% during the year.

We contacted Ibibo CEO Ashish Kashyap and the Naspers Investor relations desk for more perspective on Ibibo – where the investments have been made and where the company is going from here, but they’ve declined to comment.


Naspers Annual Report (2010)
Naspers Analyst Day Presenation (2010)

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Ibibo Owned Bixee Launches Finance, Shopping And Auto Verticals
Naspers Picks Up 25 Percent Stake In Mobile Ad & Social Net Co Buzz City For $10 Million
Ibibo Overhauled: Integrates Mail, Introduces Online And Mobile Games