By Bernd Debusmann Jr
The investment into Pure Harvest Smart Labs is the largest ever into agriculture technology in the Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan and Turkey
UAE-based agri-tech firm Pure Harvest Smart Farms has secured an investment of more than $100 million from Kuwait’s International Investment Company (Wafra), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Public Institution for Social Security.
The investment is the largest ever into agriculture technology in the Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan and Turkey.
With the investment, Wafra’s CEO, Ghazi Al-Hajeri, will join Pure Harvest’s Board of Directors.
In a statement, Pure Harvest said that the investment will help the company develop and deploy advanced controlled-environment agriculture solutions across the region to help grow fresh fruits and vegetables, regardless of climactic conditions.
The company specializes in the design and development of greenhouse systems that use natural sunlight, in an environment that is humidity and temperature controlled.
“The global need for innovation in agriculture has never been greater. The recent Covid-19 crisis and resulting supply chain disruptions further highlight the need for sustainable local-for-local food production capacity, especially for fresh, nutrient-rich foods,” said Sky Kurtz, the founder and CEO of Pure Harvest.
Kurtz added that the investment has given the company “the resources needed to secure our foothold as a pioneer in controlled-environment agriculture in the Middle East”.
“Together with structured debt financing that we are simultaneously arranging, we will invest Wafra’s funds in growth, key hires, enhancing our technology portfolio, and ultimately to deliver our solution across the region – including in Wafra’s home market of Kuwait,” he said.
Ghazi Al-Hajeri, Wafra’s CEO, said that it has earmarked $100 million to support Pure Harvest’s future expansion.
“When you combine the local abundance of sunlight with energy and water-efficient climate management systems, the region makes a compelling case as one of the best places in the world for horticulture – a ‘contrarian’ thesis we believe in and that led us to invest,” he said.
Wafra is an asset management firm with assets under management of approximately $6 billion across a variety of investment strategies.