The UAE-based Pure Harvest Smart Farms (Pure Harvest), a world-leading, sustainable technology-enabled agribusiness, on Thursday announced raising $180.5 million in their latest growth funding round.
The financing was embraced by a consortium of key global investors, including Metric Capital Partners, UK, IMM Investment Corp, Korea, and Olayan Group, KSA, joined by several existing investors and management.
The company will utilize the capital, together with various forms of debt financing, to invest in research and development, to expand its footprint across the GCC, and to open new markets in Asia.
This represents the largest-ever convertible financing in the MEASA region. The funding round was vastly oversubscribed, and a few strategic investors are still in discussions for further upsizing, underscoring the strong institutional investor appetite for Pure Harvest. The growth capital cements Pure Harvest’s role as the MEASA region’s champion within the fast-emerging, global high-tech agriculture ecosystem.
The latest round of fundraising cemented Pure Harvest’s leadership position as the pioneer in CEA in harsh climates. This fundraise, together with the sizable research and development incentives secured from the Abu Dhabi Investment Office in 2020, will allow Pure Harvest to accelerate its growth plans, deploying growing systems in new markets and increasing research and development investments.
The company is also investigating a number of new growth initiatives, including product extensions and water-efficient CEA solutions for fodder production.
Harnessing Wonders of Science
Sky Kurtz, Co-Founder and CEO at Pure Harvest Smart Farms, said: “We are humbled by this investment from many global investors, backing our mission: to harness the wonders of science, the power of nature, and the passions of people to provide tasty, affordable, sustainably-grown fresh produce anywhere.”
“At Pure Harvest, we have demonstrated we can reliably deploy our high-tech farming solutions across the GCC. Now it is time to enter new markets that share similar challenges to our own – fast-growing populations, seasonal import-dependence, and an awareness of the crippling effects that short-term crises (e.g. COVID-19, Russia-Ukraine conflict), and climate change, are having on our global food system. The future of farming is here… now, we have the resources to bring our solution to the world,” he said.
Metric Capital Partners, which is a European private equity investor based in London providing capital solutions to mid-sized companies across a wide variety of industries, was a co-lead investor. Bjørn Tessiore, Partner at Metric Capital Partners said: “It’s clear that controlled-environment agriculture (CEA) is becoming increasingly important as a solution to food security issues while also mitigating the environmental impact of food production. We believe Pure Harvest is extremely well positioned to thrive in this growing market driven by its excellent team, innovative approach, and proven track record of building and operating at scale in a region characterized by difficult climatic conditions for agriculture.”
Hyun-Chan Cho, Partner at IMM Investment Corp, the leading alternative investment firm in Korea, which announced an initial $50 million investment in Pure Harvest in last October, said: “Due to our longstanding successful investment in Farm8 (PlanTFarm), we knew the CEA space well. With Pure Harvest, we saw a complementary solution that let us double-down on an investment thesis that we continue to believe in, and that tangibly contributes to global food security, water conservation, economic diversification, and sustainability objectives.
Solving Global Food Security Crisis
The Olayan Financing Company, a Saudi-based conglomerate with an actively managed portfolio of investments, was another key investor in this round of fundraising.
A spokesperson for the company, while discussing their recent investment, said: “Pure Harvest’s character aligns closely to our own: they saw an impending global food security crisis and had the courage to take the first step to solve it. The climate and water challenges Pure Harvest works to overcome is vital to the global economy.”
“Pure Harvest has proven its ability to deliver incredibly high-quality, safe, sustainable products at affordable prices, and they’ve shown an openness to partner with others to achieve their mission. I believe this funding will allow them to unleash significant potential, and to meet growing food demands in many new markets.”