The donation will be made to the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM CARES Fund), the company said in a news release. The PM CARES Fund was created by India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, to facilitate emergency relief measures in the case of a public crisis.
The proceeds will also go toward promoting new technology and advancing research findings to combat the pandemic. Prosus has been a major investor in India since 2005, pouring $5 billion into Indian technology businesses, including classifieds, fintech and e-commerce startups.
Bob van Dijk, the group CEO of Prosus and Naspers, said the company wants to do its part in contributing to relief efforts in India. “By working with government and civil society, we hope to help India overcome this very difficult period. We are also immensely proud of the innovative efforts of our partner companies to help their country, customers and colleagues,” Van Dijk said.
Horizontal marketplace and Prosus partner OLX India is allowing customers to extend ads for another 30 days at no additional charge. OLX India is also partnering with an NGO to provide aid to displaced migrants and blue-collar workers affected by the lockdown.
In other news, Prosus says it is open for investing in core areas, and maintaining cash reserves for potential mergers and acquisitions opportunities.
“The Naspers Group has access to about $8 billion in net cash and can also raise debt, if needed, to make investments,” Van Dijk said. “There is a lot of activity going on, and we are seeing initial opportunities. You could see us grab some of them, but we will continue to be diligent to make sure we catch the right ones.”
Naspers’ classifieds businesses have witnessed a slump in traffic due to Covid-19 outbreak. But the company expects digital businesses to come out stronger after the crisis subsides.