SOUTH AFRICA – 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 B2B platform facilitates transactions and safeguards payments on behalf of farmers, resulting in increased transparency and improved cash flow.
“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 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,” Fabian Whate, head of Naspers Foundry, said.