17
May
2022
|
10:00
Europe/Amsterdam

Naspers Foundry leads R83 million ($5.1 million) equity round in agritech company Nile

Naspers Foundry leads R83 million ($5.1 million) equity round in agritech company, Nile

  • Naspers Foundry leads R83 million ($5.1 million) equity round in Nile, a B2B marketplace connecting farmers to buyers of fresh produce.
  • Nile’s technology supports the mo.vement of fresh produce across the SADC region, making quality food more accessible to people across Southern Africa.
  • The agritech company enables buyers to purchase directly from Africa's leading food producers through its safe and transparent marketplace.
  • The transaction marks Naspers Foundry’s tenth investment in South Africa-focused technology companies.

Naspers, through its early-stage tech investment vehicle Naspers Foundry, announced a R40 million ($2.5 million) investment in Nile, an agritech company that connects farmers to buyers of fresh produce. The investment is part of a R83 million equity round led by Naspers Foundry, alongside new investors, Platform Investment Partners, Raba Capital and Base Capital. The transaction marks Naspers Foundry’s tenth investment since its launch in 2019 and forms part of Naspers’s R1.4 billion commitment to grow South Africa’s tech ecosystem.

Nile was founded in 2020 to provide farmers with digital solutions that can address various pain points inherent to food trading - including price transparency, quality verification, speed of payments, the traceability of the produce and food waste.

Nile’s end-to-end process connects farmers to commercial retailers of fresh produce both in South Africa and across the continent. The B2B platform facilitates transactions and safeguards payments on behalf of farmers, resulting in increased transparency and improved cash flow. Nile leverages data and a complex logistical network allowing farmers to reach better-yielding markets, not just those geographically closest to them. Fresh produce buyers, such as retailers, wholesalers and processors, can access live availability and landed costs for a wide range of produce, and are able to transact through a variety of B2B payment methods.

Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa, South Africa CEO of Naspers, 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. [1] Our investment in Nile is a great example of how technology can support communities and improve economic opportunity.” 

Fabian Whate, Head of Naspers Foundry, said:

“Nile provides a fully integrated ecosystem that creates trust between buyers and sellers on the platform and is a great example of tech entrepreneurs building innovative solutions that address people’s everyday needs. We are excited about the growth potential of this business and its contribution to transforming the trade of fresh produce.”

Louis de Kock, Co-founder and CEO of Nile, said:

We are delighted to have Naspers Foundry support our mission to make fresh produce more accessible to people across the African continent. While we were able to bootstrap Nile through our initial growth phase, we look forward to having the backing of an internationally respected investor and experienced operator like Naspers as we scale our cross-border operations to the rest of Africa.” 

Since Nile’s inception, approximately 30 million kilograms of fruits and vegetables have been traded on the Nile platform, with buyers originating from five countries and 35 towns and cities across Southern Africa. Nile’s services are used by farmers of all sizes, from small-scale farmers to large commercial farmers, with buyers ranging from large South African-listed companies to small family-owned retailers and wholesalers. Nile also operates in Botswana, Namibia, Eswatini and Mozambique.

[1] Christiaensen, Luc. 2020. Agriculture, Jobs, and Value Chains in Africa. World Bank https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/33693

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About Naspers 

Established in 1915, Naspers has transformed itself to become a global consumer internet company and one of the largest technology investors in the world. Through Prosus, the group operates and invests globally in markets with long-term growth potential, building leading consumer internet companies that empower people and enrich communities. Prosus has its primary listing on Euronext Amsterdam, and a secondary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and Naspers is the majority owner of Prosus. 

In South Africa, Naspers is one of the foremost investors in the technology sector and is committed to building its internet and ecommerce companies. These include Takealot, Mr D Food, Superbalist, Autotrader, Property24 and PayU, in addition to Media24, South Africa’s leading print and digital media business. 

Naspers has a primary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (NPN.SJ) and a secondary listing on the A2X Exchange (NPN.AJ) in South Africa and has an ADR listing on the London Stock Exchange (LSE: NPSN). 

For more information, please visit www.naspers.com

Naspers Foundry 

Naspers is also focused on stimulating South Africa’s local tech sector through Naspers Foundry. This is a R1.4 billion investment vehicle that invests in early-stage technology companies that seek to address big societal needs. 

Naspers Labs 

In 2019, Naspers Labs, a youth development programme designed to transform and launch South Africa’s unemployed youth into economic activity, was launched. Naspers Labs focuses on digital skills and training, enabling young people to pursue tech careers. 

Naspers for Good 

Naspers employees is equally committed to giving back. Naspers for Good is a corporate philanthropy fund administered by a committee of employees in South Africa. Through the fund, Naspers forms partnerships with organisations that have a proven track record of delivering solutions for the most pressing challenges affecting our communities. Email [email protected] for more information. 

Response to COVID-19

Naspers contributed R1.5 billion of emergency aid to support the South African government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This contribution consisted of R500 million towards the Solidarity Fund and R1 billion worth of PPE sourced and distributed to South Africa’s front-line healthcare workers. In addition, Naspers contributed R6.9 million to the Nelson Mandela Foundation's EachOne FeedOne programme to support families who COVID-19 has impacted with meals for a year.

About Naspers

Established in 1915, Naspers has transformed itself to become a global consumer internet company and one of the largest technology investors in the world. Through Prosus, the group operates and invests globally in markets with long-term growth potential, building leading consumer internet companies that empower people and enrich communities. Prosus has its primary listing on Euronext Amsterdam and a secondary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and Naspers is the majority owner of Prosus.

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