KSA and UAE AgTech business Red Sea Farms raised $18. million led by Wa’ed - the venture capital arm of Saudi Aramco, and The Savola Group - the investment holding group in MENA food and retail, through their corporate venture capital program, also saw participation from KAUST Innovation Fund, along with OlsonUbben LLC.
The new funds will support Red Sea Farms’ global and regional expansion plans – including expansion of the fresh produce business in the GCC focusing on technology development, and productization.
Founded in 2018 by Mark Tester and Ryan Lefers, Red Sea Farms enables commercial farming using a low energy, zero freshwater sustainable climate control. The startup aims to promote environmental and economic sustainability by meeting the nutritional needs of water-scarce populations.
The company is trying to reduce food insecurity and the food sector’s carbon and water footprint. Red Sea Farms announced its expansion into the USA in January 2022. Ryan Lefers, CEO of Red Sea Farms, said: “We are delighted to complete this $18.5 million fund raise and build on our impressive start to 2022. To have such esteemed investors believe in our vision is hugely validating and testament to our business model and strategy. We’re excited to continue on our mission to address the reliance on freshwater consumption in food production and improve food security with their support and guidance.”
Fahad Alidi, Managing Director at Wa’ed, commented: “Red Sea Farms has developed a truly innovative and sustainable business model that not only addresses a global issue around food security and limited agricultural resources, but one that is also regionally relevant. Wa’ed is proud to be one of the early supporters to back the pioneering team at Red Sea Farms as they tackle an emerging Agtech industry with decades long interdisciplinary research."