Middle East AgTech Red Sea Farms accelerates expansion following oversubscribed investment round

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Middle East AgTech Red Sea Farms accelerates expansion following oversubscribed investment round

Saudi Arabian agriculture technology start-up Red Sea Farms said it raised $16 million as it closed its latest funding round, exceeding its initial target of $10m, to accelerate its growth in the kingdom and across the Middle East, as it focuses on sustainable food production in the arid region.

Investors from the US, UAE and Saudi Arabia – including Aramco entrepreneurship arm Wa'ed – participated in the oversubscribed pre-series A investment round in Red Sea Farms.

Significant investment from AppHarvest, an applied technology company building some of the world’s largest indoor farms in Appalachia, listed on NASDAQ in the US. •Funding from USA based Bonaventure Capital who invests in companies that are developing innovative, value-additive technologies and business models. •Initial investor group includes Aramco venture Wa’ed, the Future Investment Initiative Institute and KAUST from Saudi Arabia, and Global Ventures of the UAE.

From the left: General Manager of Red Sea Farms, Mahmoud Abduljawad, Co-Founder and CSO Dr. Mark Tester, Co-Founder and CEO Dr. Ryan Lefers and Chief of Engineering Dr. Derya Baran













Red Sea Farms, a Saudi Arabian AgTech business whose one-of-a-kind technology enables the commercial farming of produce using primarily salt water and sunlight, has successfully closed its latest funding round. 

A USD 10m investment target has been exceeded. Strong confidence raised USD 16m from leading Saudi, UAE and USA investors. This oversubscribed, pre-series A investment in Red Sea Farms cements confidence from international, regional and local investors in the burgeoning Saudi and Middle East AgTech sector.

The increased investment accelerates Red Sea Farms’ ability to expand their Saudi and Middle East operations as well as exploring growth opportunities in the US where growing conditions are harsh.

An initial investment of USD 10m came from a group of Saudi and UAE investors including the Aramco venture Wa’ed, the Saudi government-owned Future Investment Initiative, Institute, KAUST and Global Ventures, a UAE venture capital group. Interest was subsequently received from AppHarvest and Bonaventure, investors from the United States of America who have provided USD 6m.

AppHarvest is an applied technology company developing and operating some of the world’s largest high-tech indoor farms in Appalachia. The company combines conventional agricultural techniques with cutting-edge technology including artificial intelligence and robotics to improve access for all to nutritious food, farming more sustainably, building a domestic food supply, and increasing investment in Appalachia. The Company’s 60-acre Morehead, KY facility is among the largest indoor farms in the U.S. 

App Harvest uses recycled rainwater in their greenhouses, in contrast to Red Sea farms’ focus on solar and salt-water growing systems that can be quickly and easily scaled in marginal agriculture climates such as the Middle East.

Bonaventure invests in companies with a strong initial product-market fit as evidenced by customer adoption and revenue traction, clear trajectory for developing sustainable competitive advantages, and management teams passionate about solving problems for their customers and capable of scaling their businesses.

 Ryan Lefers, Chief Executive Officer of Red Sea Farms, said “Red Sea Farms is thrilled to have substantially exceeded its target for the current funding round. We look forward to working closely with our investors and our Red Sea Farms team to accelerate plans to roll out our technology in Saudi, the Middle East and North America.”

Potential investors are already exploring opportunities to be part of Red Sea Farms’ next round of fundraising during 2022, reflecting the growing trend for investing in sustainable projects that contribute to UN Sustainable Development Goals as well as meet environment, sustainability and governance principles.


About Red Sea Farms

Red Sea Farms is committed to solving one of today’s greatest problems – how to feed the world in the face of diminishing resources. Red Sea Farms cares about the planet just as much as people. Combining impact with innovation through saltwater-based agriculture products, systems and services Red Sea Farms promotes environmental and economic sustainability by meeting the nutritional needs of water-scarce populations. The approach is a world-leading blend of plant science, sustainable cooling, light and energy management and systems that use Artificial Intelligence.