About Us

The Challenge

Agrifood technology innovation remains crucial to meet the challenges posed by strong population growth, rapid urbanisation and changing consumer preferences. It is projected that the African population will increase from 1.3 billion in 2020 to 2.5 billion by 2050, with the urban population expected to increase from 400 million to 1.2 billion during this period.

The challenge is even greater given that our continent is currently not food self-sufficient with an average of US$ 45 billion in food products being imported each year. Africa has the human capital and natural resource capacity to meet these challenges in a sustainable and environmentally responsible way if agrifood tech innovation and entrepreneurship are enabled.

Our Solution

AgVentures is Africa’s leading agrifood tech investor. We invest in privately-owned agrifood companies with the potential to transform the African agrifood sector due to their innovative technology and dynamic entrepreneurship. We are more than an investor – we become a partner and assist investee companies to build their businesses and expand across Africa. Our head office is in South Africa.

Management

Gerhard Visagie

Founder, CEO

 

Qualifications:
B.Compt (Hons), CA (SA)

Experience:

  • 11 years agrifood private equity experience.
  • Shareholder and director of Acorn Private Equity, a specialist agrifood private equity firm.
  • Executive of Acorn Agri & Food (previously Acorn Agri).
  • Co-founded Acorn Agri, a leading South African agrifood corporate.

Jan Greyling

Analyst

 

Qualifications:
PhD (Agricultural Economics)

Experience:

  • Lecturer at Department Agricultural Economics at Stellenbosch University.
  • Researcher at Bureau of Food and Agricultural Policy.
  • Freelance journalist and columnist for Landbouweekblad on agrifood tech trends.

Non-Executive Directors

Andre Uys

Chairman

 

Qualifications:
B.Sc Agric (Hons), MBA

Experience:

  • 20 years agrifood managerial experience.
  • CEO of Acorn Agri & Food.
  • Serves on the board of various South African agrifood companies.

Pierre Malan

Non-Executive

 

Qualifications:
B.Compt (Hons) CA (SA)

Experience:

  • 20 years agrifood private equity experience.
  • Co-founder and CEO of Acorn Private Equity, a specialist agrifood private equity firm.
  • Co-founded Acorn Agri, a leading South African agrifood corporate.
  • Serves on the board of various South African agrifood companies.

Cobus Visser

Non-Executive

 

Qualifications:
LLB

Experience:

  • Managing director of Bremer Investments, an investment holding company.
  • Chairman of Acorn Agri & Food.
  • Director of Heelbo Boerdery, a commercial farming operation primarily focused on cattle breeding.
  • Serves on the board of various South African agrifood companies.

Anchor Shareholder

Acorn Agri & Food is a leading South African, vertically integrated agriculture and food group with a hundred-year legacy. The Group is publicly traded with a market capitalisation of several billion Rands and over 3 000 employees.

Acorn Agri & Food is AgVentures’ anchor shareholder. This strategic partnership provides AgVentures with substantial capital and access to comprehensive agrifood expertise and networks, which assists in our efforts to evaluate and scale high-potential agrifood technologies.

Strategic Partners

AgVentures is connected to a wide array of strategic partners that provide valuable insights and resources to help us achieve our core purpose of transforming the African agrifood sector through innovative and disruptive agrifood technologies.

AgVentures invests in African software champion

AgVentures, Africa’s leading, dedicated agrifood tech investor, announced an investment in Matrix Software.  Matrix Software is the leading specialist software provider to the meat industry in Southern Africa, with more than 150 clients spanning from abattoirs,...

AgVentures invests in African software champion

AgVentures, Africa’s leading, dedicated agrifood tech investor, announced an investment in Matrix Software.  Matrix Software is the leading specialist software provider to the meat industry in Southern Africa, with more than 150 clients spanning from abattoirs,...

Bitcoin for farmers – Part III

In the previous two instalments of this series of posts, we looked at the basic principles of blockchain technology, why the large scale adoption and application of it has not realised thus far, and how Hedera Hashgraph can overcome these barriers. The application...

Bitcoin for farmers – Part II

The basic principles of bitcoin and blockchain technology were set out in my previous post. The possible applications of the technology, as well as why it has not yet materialised, are discussed in this post. Blockchain technology at its most basic level makes it...

Bitcoin for farmers – Part I

Bitcoin is currently a point of discussion around many braais. With a price of more than R700 000 per coin and an increase of 380% in value over the past twelve months, this is understandably so. This three-part series takes a deep dive into Bitcoin and distributed...

AgVentures Invests in Online Farmer Marketplace

AgVentures, Africa’s pioneering agrifood tech investor, recently acquired a stake in Skudu.  Consumers are spoiled for choice with online marketplaces but the same cannot be said for the buyers and sellers of agricultural inputs and produce. This market is ripe for...

Jan Greyling joins AgVentures

Jan Greyling is joining AgVentures as analyst in January 2021. Jan holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics from Stellenbosch University and has published several academic papers and book chapters in agricultural development, policy, and technology. Jan worked as...

The future of fruit yield estimation

For years, the fruit industry have had to rely on conducting crop yield estimations through physical counting and extrapolating it to the entire crop. This method of yield estimation achieves inconsistent results. The ability to accurately estimate crop yields...

AgVentures is hiring!

AgVentures is hiring an analyst to assist us in unlocking Africa's agrifood potential by investing in and nurturing innovative and disruptive technologies.

Leading the African agrifood tech revolution

AgVentures, a South African based agrifood tech investment company, recently raised an anchor commitment of R100 million from Acorn Agri & Food, a leading South African agrifood business. This will assist AgVentures to pursue its vision of unleashing Africa’s...

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