UAE agri-business firm Pure Harvest gets $100 million commitment from Kuwait’s Wafra

Pure Harvest managed to raise $20.6 million in its Series A financing round. (Supplied)
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Updated 06 April 2020

UAE agri-business firm Pure Harvest gets $100 million commitment from Kuwait’s Wafra

  • COVID-19 crisis puts emphasis on need for fresh healthy, locally-grown food
  • Pure Harvest has raised $20.6 million in its Series A financing round, with the Kuwaiti asset management firm

DUBAI: Abu Dhabi-based agri-business venture Pure Harvest Smart Farms on Monday said it has secured a $100 million multi-year funding commitment from Kuwait’s Wafra International Investment Company, the biggest agriculture technology investment in the region.

Pure Harvest managed to raise $20.6 million in its Series A financing round, with the Kuwaiti asset management firm – which has $6 billion assets in its portfolio – the biggest financial backer with a $10 million capital injection.

Pure Harvest Smart Farms supplies tomatoes grown in an enclosed, environment-controlled farm to supermarkets – including Carrefour, Spinney’s and Waitrose – hotels and restaurants in the UAE. Proceeds from its initial fund-raising activity would be used to finance planned expansion activities in the Gulf region.

“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,” Sky Kurtz, the founder and chief executive of Pure Harvest Smart Farms, said in a statement.

“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.”

Ghazi Al-Hajeri, chief executive of Wafra International Investment Company, meanwhile said: “The Arabian Gulf food system is undergoing a monumental shift toward a technology-enabled farming model in order to meet consumer demands for affordable, high quality foods.”

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 in Pure Harvest. “

Pure Harvest recently signed a deal with the Alliances for Global Sustainability, which was founded by Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al-Nahyan, to secure over 30 hectares of land in Al-Ain to expand its modernized farming facilities.

Now read: The American putting the flavor back in the tomato in the UAE and sharing it with Saudi Arabia


Turkish Airlines may delay delivery of Airbus, Boeing planes

Updated 27 May 2020

Turkish Airlines may delay delivery of Airbus, Boeing planes

  • The carrier plans to begin some domestic flights on June 4 and international on June 10
  • Airlines chairman said the impact of the coronavirus on market could last up to five years

ISTANBUL: Turkish Airlines, which halted nearly all of its passenger flights as a result of the coronavirus crisis, may delay the delivery of some Boeing and Airbus planes, its chairman was quoted as saying on Wednesday.
The carrier plans to begin some domestic flights on June 4 and some international flights on June 10 as airlines worldwide try to get planes flying again after a global travel slump.
But Turkish Airlines chairman Ilker Ayci said in an interview with Turkey’s Hurriyet newspaper that the impact of the coronavirus could last up to five years and that it would take a while to reach 2019 load factor levels.
Turkish Airlines had received half of its order for 25 Boeing 787-9 planes, he said, adding that the delivery of the rest could be delayed.
The airline is in talks to take delivery of Airbus 350-900s that are ready from an order of 25, and that it was working to delay the delivery of the rest, he said.
“We are trying to lighten the serious loads that could arise. We are getting our narrow-body planes.”
Ayci said Turkish Airlines would no longer offer free in-flight food and drinks on domestic flights and other flights shorter than two hours.
He also repeated that the company would try to maintain employment, but that salaries would have to be adjusted, with the aim of supporting those paid the least.