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Naspers invests R40m in agritech company

Said to be a ‘great example of tech entrepreneurs who can sustain food security.’
Nile’s digital platform addresses ‘pain points’ associated with food trading such as price transparency, quality, verification, speed of payments and food waste. Image: Shutterstock

JSE-listed multinational Naspers, through its technology fund Naspers Foundry, has announced a R40 million investment in agritech company Nile. The investment is part of an R83 million equity round.

According to a statement released on Tuesday, this is Naspers Foundry’s 10th investment since its launch in 2019 and is part of Naspers’s R1.4 billion pledge to South Africa’s technology industry.

Nile, which was founded in 2020, provides direct trade of fresh produce between producers and retailers, wholesalers and processors across the SADC (Southern African Development Community) region, through its B2B e-commerce platform.

According to the statement, Nile’s digital platform addresses “pain points” associated with food trading including price transparency, quality, verification, speed of payments, the traceability of produce and food waste.

“The B2B platform facilitates transactions and safeguards payments on behalf of farmers, resulting in increased transparency and improved cash flow,” adds the statement.

Naspers states that Nile has traded approximately 30 million kilograms of fruit and vegetables since its establishment, with buyers from five countries and 35 towns and cities across southern Africa.

Its services are used by small and large-scale farmers.

Naspers South Africa CEO Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa says Nile provides a positive contribution towards helping sustain food security.

“According to the World Bank, Africa’s food system has huge potential to create more and better jobs. More inclusive value chains that link farmers and other stakeholders can help realise this potential. Our investment in Nile is a great example of how technology can support communities and improve economic opportunity.”

To date, Naspers Foundry has invested in SweepSouth, Aerobotics, Food Supply Network, The Student Hub, WhereIsMyTransport, Ctrl, Planet24 and Naked Insurance.

Nondumiso Lehutso is a Moneyweb intern.

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