UAE Agritech start-up raises $2.8m in funding round led by ADQ’s DisruptAD

Right Farm will use the funds to support expansion and technology development

Right Farm’s founding team includes, from left, chief executive Elie Skaf, chief technology officer Mohammad Ajamieh, and chief operating officer Mazen Mourad. Photo: Right Farm
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Right Farm, a UAE agriculture technology start-up that sources fresh produce for the food and retail sector, raised $2.8 million in a seed funding round led by DisruptAD, the venture capital platform of Abu Dhabi’s holding company ADQ, and Enhance Ventures, a VC studio for Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan and Turkey (MENAPT).

The funds will be used to support the company’s technology development and growth plans in the region, Right Farm said in a statement on Monday.

The investment from DisruptAD and Enhance Ventures will help accelerate our start-up journey and unlock access to ADQ’s growing food and agriculture portfolio
Elie Skaf, co-founder and chief executive of Right Farm

“The investment from DisruptAD and Enhance Ventures will help accelerate our start-up journey and unlock access to ADQ’s growing food and agriculture portfolio,” Elie Skaf, co-founder and chief executive of Right Farm, said.

“We have established product-market fit and are developing technology to modernise the fresh produce industry while maximising operational efficiency and enabling scale across markets.”

Start-ups in Mena registered record VC funding worth $2.6 billion last year through 590 transactions, according to a report by data platform Magnitt. About 35 start-ups announced exits in 2021, indicating a maturity in the region’s start-up landscape.

UAE start-ups accounted for 26 per cent of all deals closed across the region and 45 per cent of all funding raised in 2021, Magnitt said.

Founded in 2021, Right Farm is developing technology that optimises the sourcing and procurement of fresh produce for businesses, the company said.

ADQ, which has a broad portfolio of investments spanning sectors such as energy, utilities, health care, mobility and logistics, is boosting its food and agriculture portfolio.

It has investments in Louis Dreyfus, a vertically integrated company dealing in food, feed, fibres and ingredients, as well as Abu Dhabi-based fresh produce and Agritech company Silal, agribusiness firm Al Dahra Holding and Agthia Group.

Right Farm aims to create a more sustainable supply chain, while addressing food security by increasing operational and financial efficiencies across the fresh produce value chain, the company said.

The business-to-business Agritech company operates from a cold-storage facility in the UAE’s fruit and vegetable market. The venture provides access to more than 1,000 fruits, vegetables and microgreens, enabling businesses to place orders and receive delivery within 12 hours, it said.

“With demand for fresh food on the rise, Right Farm is an attractive investment proposition that we seek to build into a household name for farmers and the food industry,” Alper Celen, founder of Enhance Ventures, said.

Right Farm’s founders, including chief executive Mr Skaf, chief operating officer Mazen Mourad and chief technology officer Mohammad Ajamieh, lead a team of more than 30 employees.

The UAE, embarking on the National Food Security Strategy 2051, has been investing heavily to generate sustainable local food production to reduce imports and is adopting technologies such as artificial intelligence and robotics to meet long-term market demands.

Abu Dhabi has launched a number of initiatives, including $41m in grants and incentives worth $545m, to support high-growth areas.

In August last year, aquaculture company Pure Salmon partnered with the Abu Dhabi Investment Office to set up its global headquarters in Abu Dhabi, which was part of Adio’s Dh2bn ($545m) innovation programme. Later that month, ADQ announced plans to start a new venture in Al Ain, aiming to boost the production of fresh fruits and vegetables in the UAE.

DisruptAD offers incubation, investment and commercial scaling opportunities for tech start-ups, according to the statement.

Headquartered in Dubai and Riyadh, Enhance Ventures builds and invests in companies involved in the future of finance and commerce.

Its portfolio includes online gifting platform Joi Gifts, SME digitisation and payment platform Clevr and conscious commerce marketplace Blue Terra.

Updated: April 11, 2022, 9:20 AM