JSE-listed multinational Naspers, through its technology fund Naspers Foundry, has announced that Agritech has invested R40 million in Nile. The investment is part of an R83 million equity round.
According to a statement released on Tuesday, it is the 10th investment by Naspers Foundry since its launch in 2019 and is part of Naspers’ R1.4 billion commitment to the South African technology industry.
Neil, which was founded in 2020, provides direct trade in fresh products between producers and retailers, wholesalers and processors across the SADC (South African Development Community) region through its B2B e-commerce platform.
According to the statement, Neil’s digital platform addresses “pain issues” associated with the food trade, including price transparency, quality, verification, speed of payment, product searchability and food waste.
“The B2B platform facilitates transactions and payments for farmers, which increases transparency and improves cash flow,” the statement added.
Naspers says Neil has traded about 30 million kilograms of fruits and vegetables since its inception, with buyers from five countries and 35 cities and towns in South Africa.
Its services are used by small and large scale farmers.
Naspers South Africa CEO Futhi Mahaniele-Dabengwa says blue food makes a positive contribution to helping maintain safety.
“According to the World Bank, there is a huge potential for better jobs in Africa’s food system. A more inclusive price chain that connects farmers and other stakeholders can help realize this possibility. Our investment in the Nile is a great example of how technology can help communities and improve economic opportunities. ”
So far, Naspers foundry has invested in SweepSouth, Aerobotics, Food Supply Network, The Student Hub, WhereIsMyTransport, Ctrl, Planet24 and Naked Insurance.
Nandumiso Lehutso is a moneyweb intern.