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UAE-based AgriTech startup Pure Harvest Smart Farms has secured $64.5M in growth capital from Korean private investment firm IMM Investment alongside existing investors. Pure Harvest has also entered a joint venture partnership with Korea’s PlanTFarm, a vertical farming solutions provider and a portfolio of IMM Investment. The two AgriTech companies will jointly design, build and operate indoor vertical farms.
Founded in 2016 by Sky Kurtz, Mahmoud Adi and Robert Kupstas, Pure Harvest uses hydroponic technology to grow fruits and vegetables in harsh desert climates. The company currently operates three farms in the UAE with its fourth and fifth projects under development in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, respectively. To date, Pure Harvest has raised $271.6 million in funding.
There have been some interesting breakthroughs in the Agriculture industry across MENA, marked by growth in funding as most recently observed in our MENA Q3 2021 Venture Investment Report. Mostly concentrated between the UAE and KSA, 8 Agriculture startups raised 10 funding rounds across MENA in 2021 YTD. Two rounds by KSA-based Red Sea Farms, designing ingenuous Tech to tackle sustainable farming, drove the 4,100% YoY funding growth of the Agriculture sector in KSA, while this marks the 4th transaction closed by a UAE-based AgriTech in 2021 YTD.
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Today Pure Harvest operates three (3) farms in the UAE with the Company’s fourth and fifth projects under development in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, respectively. The Company currently produces a variety of crops including tomatoes, leafy greens and strawberries, and is gaining widespread recognition as the trusted fresh produce brand, recognized as the GCC’s homegrown CEA champion. Sky Kurtz, Founder and Chief Executive, commenting on the announcement, said: “We are delighted to welcome IMM as the latest global institutional investor to fund our mission. This is a landmark financing for Pure Harvest two reasons: first, IMM is one of Asia’s most respected and successful alternative investors, signaling the strength of our investment case; and second, the firm has been a longstanding investor in controlled-environment agriculture (CEA) through serial investments in Farm8 and PlanTFarm, leading Korean agribusiness and vertical farming ventures.”
The funding announcement accompanies Pure Harvest’s joint venture partnership with PlanTFarm, one of the world’s largest and most innovative vertical farming solutions providers. This pioneering smart farming Tech partnership enables Pure Harvest Smart Farms to serve as an “omnibus” controlled-environment solutions provider, adding new CEA growing systems to its existing portfolio ranging from retailer-integrated in-store farms to large-scale, warehouse-style indoor vertical farms, and adds 100+ commercially proven crops. Fueled by the needed growth capital and powered by a newfound partnership, Pure Harvest is ready to expand its potential as Sky Kurtz elaborated “ IMM will bring tremendous value supporting our expansion into Asia. Most importantly, we share the same values and vision for building a more resilient and sustainable food system for the world, tackling food security challenges and localizing food production anywhere – even in the harshest climate environments.”
Upon final completion of its ongoing projects, Pure Harvest will operate over 18 hectares of production capacity across numerous crops and will employ over 300 people. The UAE-based Agritech plans to channel its newly acquired funds into developing its technology and R&D efforts, further growing its team, and support its expansion across the MENASA region. Commenting for IMM, Hyun-Chan Cho, Partner of IMM concluded “We are impressed with Pure Harvest’s journey, their compelling business case, and their ability to reliably produce in one of the most challenging environments in the world. This year underlined just how vulnerable global supply chains are, and we believe Pure Harvest is one of the game-changing companies that — through pioneering CEA in harsh climates — will deliver a sustainable source of food to the MENASA region.”
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