Saudi’s Red Sea Farms raises $18.5mn fund co-led by Wa’ed & Savola Group

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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Red Sea Farms
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Red Sea Farms, the Saudi Arabia and UAE-based AgTech business whose one-of-a-kind technology enables commercial farming using low energy, zero freshwater sustainable climate control, has raised an $18.5 million strategic fund.

The fundraise was co-led by Wa’ed, the venture capital arm of Saudi Aramco and The Savola Group, the leading strategic investment holding group in MENA food and retail, through their corporate venture capital program.

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Innovation Fund, one of Red Sea Farms’ original investors, is also participating, along with OlsonUbben, an investment entity jointly owned by Mr. Tony Olson and Mr. Jeffrey Ubben. Tony Olson is the CEO of SPINS, a leading wellness-focused data company, and Jeffrey Ubben is the Founder and Managing Partner at Inclusive Capital Partners and a pioneer in impact investing.

The fund will support Red Sea Farms’ global and regional expansion plans, including the expansion of the fresh produce business in the GCC. Global expansion is focused on technology development, and productization, with first-generation product sales expected by Q4 2022.

Ryan Lefers
Ryan Lefers
CEO – Red Sea Farms

“We are delighted to complete this $18.5 million fundraise and build on our impressive start to 2022. To have such esteemed investors believe in our vision is hugely validating and a 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.”

Red Sea Farms also announces the appointment of a new global COO and regional CEO for the Middle East, Mr. Simon Roopchand. The company will leverage Mr. Roopchand’s previous CEO experience with Lorne Stewart and proven track record in leading strategic growth to capitalize on the vast opportunities in the Middle East region.

Red Sea Farms has been highly active in terms of operations and announced its expansion into the USA in January 2022. It has also completed a new commercial-scale 6-hectare technology retrofit site near Riyadh and an R&D facility at the KAUST in Thuwal, where technologies are delivering results ahead of expectations.

Related: Saudi tech startup Foodics raises $170mn in Series C funding