South African agri-tech startup Nile, which enables buyers to purchase directly from Africa’s leading food producers through its marketplace, has raised a ZAR83 million (US$5.1 million) equity funding round led by Naspers Foundry.
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.
The startup’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’s ZAR83 million equity round was led by Naspers Foundry, which contributed ZAR40 million (US$2.5 millon), alongside Platform Investment Partners, Raba Capital and Base Capital. Nile is Naspers Foundry’s 10th transaction, with its portfolio also including SweepSouth, Aerobotics, Food Supply Network, The Student Hub, WhereIsMyTransport, Ctrl, Naked Insurance and Floatpays.
“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,” said Louis de Kock, co-founder and CEO of Nile.
Since Nile’s inception, approximately 30 million kilogrammes of fruits and vegetables have been traded on the 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 Africa-listed companies to small family-owned retailers and wholesalers. Nile also operates in Botswana, Namibia, Eswatini and Mozambique.
“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,” Fabian Whate, head of Naspers Foundry, said.