SA food service market place FSN gets backing from Naspers’ US$85m investment vehicle

SOUTH AFRICA – Naspers, one of the largest technology investors in the world has invested an undisclosed amount in South Africa based food systems integrator, Food Supply Network (FSN) through its funding unit, Naspers Foundry.

Naspers Foundry, announced at the end of 2018, is a R1.4 billion (US$85.6m) early-stage tech investment vehicle aimed at boosting the South African tech sector.

The investment in FSN, a marketplace that integrates food ordering system of manufacturers, distributors, restaurants, hotels and retailers is Naspers’ third deal under the fund.

“We’re extremely excited about our partnership with Naspers Foundry. Naspers brings unparalleled global experience, marketplace expertise and extensive networks to the table.”

Gert Steyn – FSN founder and CEO

“Naspers Foundry invests in early stage and founder-led South African tech companies and we’re delighted to announce our backing of Food Supply Network,” said Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa, CEO South Africa of Naspers, said:

“It’s the third investment we’ve made through Naspers Foundry and we’re excited to add a food-focused company to our growing portfolio,” she said.

According to Naspers, the platform streamlines the process across the board as buyers reduce their administrative overhead, payment reconciliations and out-of-stock events.

Distributors on the other hand improve service delivery and grow market share while manufacturers drive sales by accurately showcasing all their brands, products and promotions throughout their supply chain.

“The FSN deal is a great addition to our portfolio of early stage tech investments. It’s a classic marketplace model using technology to more efficiently link the three distinct stakeholder groups involved in the process of efficiently ordering and moving food products across the supply chain,” Fabian Whate, Head of Naspers Foundry, said.

FSN is active in South Africa, Namibia and Zambia, and is planning to soon expand to Angola as it extends its reach to the rest of the continent and beyond.

Commenting on the investment FSN founder and CEO, Gert Steyn, said, “We’re extremely excited about our partnership with Naspers Foundry. Naspers brings unparalleled global experience, marketplace expertise and extensive networks to the table.”

In May, the initiative invested R100 million (US$6.1m) in subscription-based artificial intelligence agritech company Aerobotics; while in the previous year, it invested R30 million (US$1.8m) in online home cleaning services business SweepSouth.

As a group, Naspers has concentrated its investments around food delivery, classifieds and fintech, in recent years. 

In the retail sector, the company sold its 11.18% stake in Indian ecommerce company Flipkart, to US-based retailer Walmart (NYSE: WMT) for US$2.2bn, representing an IRR of approximately 32% in 2018.

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