Pure Harvest Smart Farms secures $60 million in growth funding to support regional expansion

Pure Harvest Smart Farms secures $60 million in growth funding to support regional expansion 

By: Abu Dhabi SME Hub

Funding follows $29.3 million Series A financing as well as sizable financial incentives from the Abu Dhabi Investment Office, both completed in H2 2020.

Pure Harvest Smart Farms, a world-leading, sustainable technology-enabled agribusiness, today announced that it has secured US$50 million in  growth funding through an Islamic structured finance solution, led by SHUAA Capital psc  [DFM: SHUAA]. This unique growth-financing/ venture-debt solution is a highly structured Sukuk with embedded warrants, which reflects the innovative financing capabilities of  SHUAA Capital. The sukuk comes on the heels of a successful second growth equity raise of US$10 million, led by Sancta Capital in January 2021. 

Sky Kurtz, Founder and CEO at Pure Harvest Smart Farms, said: “We are thrilled to have  secured this innovative structured financing solution that supports our aggressive growth  campaign within the GCC region. We are passionate about our mission to make local-for local production of high-quality fresh produce possible anywhere, including within the harsh  climate of our home the Arabian Gulf. World events like the COVID pandemic highlight the critical need for homegrown food solutions to reduce our reliance upon international supply  chains. This type of financing underscores the innovation occurring within the region’s venture capital markets. Congratulations to our financing partners for this first-of-its-kind  solution. We thank you for believing in us.” 

Founded in Abu Dhabi on the premise that the region needs local, sustainable food sources, Pure Harvest is soon to complete its third hybrid greenhouse growing system within the Emirates, is currently constructing its beachhead in Saudi Arabia, and has announced a  further EUR 39 million expansion project in Kuwait. Upon completion of its new projects the  company will produce a variety of tomatoes, leafy greens, and berries, with plans to continue  to diversify its offering in the future. The capital raised through these transactions will be  used to support Pure Harvest’s capacity expansions, attract new talent to the company’s  fast-growing team, advance research & development activities (including various innovation projects in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Investment Office), and to facilitate new market entry.

Natasha Hannoun from SHUAA, the region’s leading asset management and investment  banking platform, commented: “At SHUAA, we have a strong track record in identifying  businesses with market-leading propositions and teams and Pure Harvest fits this criterion  perfectly. We witnessed Pure Harvest Smart Farms’ leadership in Agriculture Technology  (AgTech), the strength of the team, and its proven ability to execute, giving us the  confidence that Pure Harvest has significant growth potential as it seeks to address the need for food security within the Gulf and wider region.  

“We are delighted that SHUAA has been able to deliver this innovative and highly complex  structured financing solution for Pure Harvest Smart Farms in another regional first. This  funding will help the company to scale into a major regional player in controlled-environment agriculture and we are excited to back the region’s AgTech champion when it comes to food  security, sustainability and economic diversification.” 

Mohieddine Kronfol, CIO of Global Sukuk and MENA Fixed Income at Franklin Templeton,  spoke about why Pure Harvest is an attractive investment. He said: “Investor interest in  access to middle market credit transactions is increasing across the region, and is  particularly exciting in growth sectors that are addressing global challenges like food security  and water scarcity. We’re backing the region’s pioneer in high-tech agriculture and  supporting their efforts to have a large-scale impact in the markets they serve. This  investment supports our ESG and Sharia compliant mandates, and we wish the company  continued success.” 

Gus Chehayeb, CIO of Sancta Capital, said: “Sancta Capital is proud to play an active role in  Pure Harvest’s Sukuk and growth equity raises. The company is the region’s most advanced  AgTech player and has built significant brand awareness, defensible intellectual property,  and a top-tier management team with a large, vested interest in its success. 

Pure Harvest has proven that the Gulf can serve as an excellent agricultural base, where abundant sunlight, vast land, affordable electricity and labor, and ample CO2 can be  optimized to beat the landed cost of comparable quality imported fresh produce from  industrial greenhouses within Europe, resulting in compelling production economics. The  company is enhancing the region’s food security, providing consumers fresher and more  sustainable choices, creating local jobs, and driving lucrative opportunities for investors.”

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