DUBAI, June 7 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabian agriculture
technology startup Red Sea Farms on Monday said it had raised
$10 million which it would use to develop commercial scale
farming facilities and expand into neighbouring United Arab
Red Sea Farms, established in 2018, grows tomatoes in an
environment-controlled, enclosed farm that primarily uses
saltwater to cool greenhouses and irrigate crops. Fresh water is
sparsely available in the predominantly desert Gulf region where
arable land is also scarce.
Red Sea Farms aims to have between four to eight farming
sites across six hectares in central and western Saudi Arabia
and in Abu Dhabi, the UAE's largest emirate, Co-Founder and
Chief Executive Ryan Lefers told Reuters.
"We are looking to also (grow) snack peppers, snack
cucumbers as part of this round to really keep that focus around
fresh (and) healthy," he said.
The company plans to sell produce in UAE supermarkets. Its
tomatoes are already available in Saudi supermarkets.
Red Sea Farms has trialed its technology using a pilot
saltwater greenhouse in Saudi Arabia's west at the King Abdullah
University for Science & Technology.
Investors included Saudi Aramco's entrepreneurship
arm Wa'ed, the Future Investment Initiative Institute, the King
Abdullah University for Science & Technology and Dubai-based
venture capital firm Global Ventures, Red Sea Farms said.
To date, Red Sea Farms has raised $11.9 million.
(Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)