SAUDI ARABIA – Saudi agritech company, Iyris, formerly Red Sea Farms, has raised USD 16 million in a new investment round led by Ecosystem Integrity, a climate and sustainability fund based in San Francisco.

The fundraising comprised participation from current and new institutional investors, including Global Ventures, Dubai Future District Fund, Kanoo Ventures, Globivest and Bonaventure Capital.

The company aims to improve commercial farming for low to mid tech farmers in hot climates globally. 

It offers technologies that can extend growing seasons for crops, as well as reduce water and energy consumption by up to 90%, helping growers increase yields at lower input costs and risks.

“Proceeds will support increased sales coverage and delivery of Iyris’ strong international sales pipeline for SecondSky greenhouse covers and nets,” a statement said.

“It will also fund continued development of its innovative heat blocking products and resilient plant genetics.”

Iyris, formerly known as Red Sea Farms, focuses on helping growers globally by increasing crop yields, reducing input costs, and extending growing seasons in challenging farming environments.

Their innovative solutions include heat-blocking products and resilient plant genetics. These technologies were originally developed by leading scientists and professors at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia. 

With this fresh capital, Iyris plans to expand sales coverage and deliver their international sales pipeline for SecondSky greenhouse covers and nets.

According to Mordor Intelligence, the Saudi Arabia Fruits and Vegetables Market is estimated to be USD 8.12 billion in 2024 and is projected to reach USD 10.26 billion by 2029, growing at a CAGR of 4.80% during this period.

The country is embracing technology in farming practices. Innovations like greenhouses and vertical farms have contributed to increased tomato production by over 10% from 2020 to 2022.

It aims to enhance domestic food security, with open-field vegetable production reaching 983,000 tons in 2021.

Dates are a major resource, achieving a self-sufficiency rate of 118%, while tomatoes and onions have self-sufficiency rates of 77% and 52%, respectively.

Moreover, in 2021, the United States exported approximately USD 1.3 billion in agricultural and related products to Saudi Arabia.

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