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Red Sea Farms investment:

"It wasn't easy to approach investors with our story of using salt water in horticulture:

For a company that started out as a way for two researchers from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, or Kaust, to apply their research, Red Sea Farms has come a long way.

Earlier this month, the Saudi Arabia-based agriculture technology start-up raised a total of $16 million from an enviable roster of investors. But ask its chief executive Ryan Lefers and he admits that it was not always easy for him and his co-founder Mark Tester to approach investors with their basic premise – to use salt water in agriculture.

“The idea that we could utilise salt water in an agriculture system is compelling. I think people were compelled by the idea, but it was also [I need to] see it to believe it [response], which is also fine and understandable,” says Mr Lefers, an agricultural scientist.

“We have had to raise our own funding to build our own facilities to show and demonstrate our technology.”


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