Agri-tech Startup Pure Harvest Smart Farms Raises USD $1.75MM to Invest in New Technologies and to Seed its Expansion into Saudi Arabia
Pure Harvest Smart Farms, a technology-enabled agribusiness based in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, announced today that it has successfully closed USD $1.75 million of growth equity financing in a round that was oversubscribed. This follows an earlier USD $5.8 million capital raise in what was the MENA region’s largest-ever Seed financing led by Shorooq Partners and the Mohammed bin Rashid Innovation Fund.
The new financing was provided entirely by Pure Harvest’s existing investors, founders, and senior management – evidence of insiders’ conviction and alignment with Pure Harvest’s mission: to make it possible to sustainably grow clean, delicious, and affordable fresh local produce anywhere. Pure Harvest is tackling the region’s food security problem by leveraging technology to overcome its extreme arid climate, enabling year-round production of premium quality fresh fruits & vegetables while contributing to water conversation, economic diversification and sustainability.
Proceeds from the financing will be used to support growth investments, including key hires, research & development of new tech (including supplemental artificial lighting and automation technologies), and to fund final design & engineering work seeding Pure Harvest’s production footprint expansions both in the UAE and into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
On September 22, Pure Harvest will formally launch its institutional fundraise, meeting global debt and equity investors. This is the first of many phases of expansion for Pure Harvest, which is revolutionizing the agriculture sector in the Middle East.
David Scott, a Director at Pure Harvest and the Company’s Non-executive Chairman, welcomed the outcome of the latest financing round, saying:
"With a full year of operations under our belt, Pure Harvest has unequivocally demonstrated the feasibility of its vision for high quality, locally sourced, year-round fresh fruit and vegetable production, available at a cost well below that of current imports. Our technical success in maintaining an optimal climate corridor and in achieving truly remarkable yields over the past year have underpinned investor confidence and appetite. At the same time, the wisdom of our decision to pilot first and scale second is really beginning to shine through, having produced powerful insights and a clear technology roadmap for further optimization of our planned expansion facilities and of our business. Having successfully implemented the first phase of our business plan and negotiated the unique complexities of operating in this climate and market, Pure Harvest is now well-poised for an aggressive, but de-risked expansion."
Mahmoud Adi, Cofounder & Director at Pure Harvest and Founding Partner of Shorooq Partners, an early investor in the Company, added: "I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished in such a short timeframe. We are blessed in the UAE to have an abundance of sunlight that today, using Pure Harvest’s advanced growing system, can turn that light into high quality, home grown fresh produce. Our next phase of growth is to penetrate neighboring and regional markets including Saudi Arabia and the broader GCC."
“Pioneering controlled-environment agriculture in the region with our first-of-its-kind high-tech greenhouse has been a truly gratifying experience. When we started in late-2016, it was a lonely journey… we faced doubt, disbelief and resistance,” said Sky Kurtz, Cofounder & CEO of Pure Harvest. “Today it is an entirely different story. We have incredible support from governments, from universities and – most importantly – from our customers, who vote for the movement that we started using their wallets each day. Pure Harvest is committed to expanding our footprint and to offering a wider variety of sustainably grown, premium quality fresh produce to everyone. We are here to stay.”
Pure Harvest is participating in the annual Future Investment Initiative (FII) hosted by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF) on October 29 – 31 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The Company will lend its expertise as part of a special ‘Eat’ taskforce to explore trends and opportunities in the food industry and share insights on how to tackle the food security concerns in the Middle East.