Naspers announced a $2.5 million investment in Nile, an agritech firm that connects farmers with consumers of fresh fruit, through its early-stage tech investment vehicle, Naspers Foundry. The group led a $5 million equity round, which included new investors: Platform Investment Partners, Raba Capital, and Base Capital.
Naspers Foundry’s eleventh investment since its inception in 2019 is part of Naspers’ R1.4 billion commitment to the growth of South Africa’s tech sector.
Nile was formed in 2020 to provide farmers with digital solutions to address several pain points associated with food trading. They include price transparency, quality verification, payment speed, produce traceability, and food waste.
Farmers connected throughout Africa
Farmers and commercial retailers of fresh produce in South Africa and across the continent are connected through the start-end-to-end up’s procedure. The B2B platform streamlines processes and protects payments for farmers, resulting in greater transparency and improved cash flow.
Over 30 million kilograms of fruits and vegetables have been traded on the Nile platform since its launch, with purchasers hailing from five countries and 35 locations across Southern Africa. Farmers of different sizes – from small-scale farms to large commercial farmers – employ Nile’s services, while customers range from huge South African-listed firms to tiny family-owned merchants and distributors. Botswana, Namibia, Eswatini, and Mozambique are among the company’s other locations.Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa, Naspers chief executive in South Africa, said: “The importance of food security cannot be overstated, and a platform like Nile provides a positive contribution towards helping to sustain it. 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.”