The funding “substantially exceeded [our] target,” reveals CEO Ryan Lefers, demonstrating investor enthusiasm for transformative endeavours centring environmental sustainability.
Saudi Arabian agritech startup, Red Sea Farms, has raised $16 million in its pre-Series A funding round, led by Aramco’s venture capital (VC) wing Wa’ed, Saudi state-owned Future Investment Initiative (FII), Institute the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Dubai-based Global Ventures, and US-based VCs AppHarvest and Bonaventure.
Red Sea Farms, which was founded in 2018 by Ryan Lefers and Mark Tester, applies a technology to enable commercial farming using saltwater and sunlight in a transformative effort to combat food insecurity and decrease carbon and freshwater use in agriculture.
The company estimates that freshwater consumption is cut by 85-90% through its end-to-end growing system.
CEO Ryan Lefers welcomed the above-target funding, saying it will “accelerate [our] plans to roll out our technology in Saudi, the Middle East and North America.”
The startup will work with investors, including AppHarvest, which builds some of the world’s largest indoor farms in the Appalachian region of the US, to drive its expansion in Saudi, the Middle East, and to consider US agricultural opportunities.
Interest has already been expressed by investors for Red Sea Farms’ next funding round, scheduled for 2022, demonstrating the investment enthusiasm for endeavours centring environmental sustainability.