Pure Harvest announces sukuk funding, raises $60 million this year

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - UAE-based, agritech Pure Harvest Smart Farms has raised $50 million in growth funding through a sukuk, an Islamic structured finance product similar to a bond, led by SHUAA Capital. It marks the first time that a startup in the Middle East has raised venture-debt in this way and comes after it closing a $10 million growth equity round from Sancta Capital in January this year. The startup has raised more than $200 million to date.

Founded in Abu Dhabi in 2016, Pure Harvest uses hydroponic farming solutions and internet of things (IOT) technology to grow fruits and vegetables in the region’s arid climate. The latest round will be used to grow its team, invest in research and development and expand its services in the UAE, where it is nearing the completing of this third greenhouse. It is also constructing greenhouses in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, for which it previously raised $46.5 million.

“World events like the Covid pandemic highlight the critical need for homegrown food solutions to reduce our reliance upon international supply chains,” said Sky Kurtz, founder and CEO of Pure Harvest Smart Farms. “We are thrilled to have secured this innovative structured financing solution that supports our aggressive growth campaign within the GCC region.”

Following its investments in Anghami, which recently announced its intentions to go public on the NASDAQ via a SPAC, SHUAA Capital is backing “businesses with market-leading positions”, according to Natasha Hannoun, head of investment solutions at the investment firm.

“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,” she said.

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