Food services marketplace gets Naspers backing

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 17 Sept 2020

Naspers Foundry has invested an undisclosed amount in Food Supply Network (FSN), the early-stage business funding initiative’s third investment deal to date.

Naspers Foundry, announced at the end of 2018, is a R1.4 billion initiative aimed at strengthening the South African technology sector by providing funding to talented and ambitious technology founders and entrepreneurs.

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

In regards to its latest deal, the investment vehicle is adding the food services industry to its investment portfolio.

Stellenbosch-based FSN is an independent business-to-business marketplace that integrates ordering systems of manufacturers, distributors and buyers (restaurants, hotels and retailers) of food products.

It is already active in SA, Namibia and Zambia, with plans to soon expand to Angola as it extends its reach to the rest of the continent and beyond.

Commenting on the investment, Naspers SA CEO Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa says: “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. 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.”

Fabian Whate, head of Naspers Foundry, adds: “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. We look forward to helping the FSN team continue to grow their business.”

FSN founder and CEO Gert Steyn states: “We’re extremely excited about our partnership with Naspers Foundry. Naspers brings unparalleled global experience, marketplace expertise and extensive networks to the table. Their capabilities complement our own, as well as those of our existing partners at Venturen, who also participated in this round.

“Naspers shares our vision of optimising the local and global food supply chains in an industry that still relies on manual processes.”