Crysp Farms secures $2.25M in a pre-series A. “Expanding our footprint will be the main objective at this point, especially throughout the GCC region and soon thereafter in other markets. In addition, we plan to expand the product portfolio by tapping into strawberries and other high-end items that are in demand such as snack peppers, and plan to continuously add more products over time. We have a specific market in mind and we take a very targeted approach in comparison to others that are out there,” says Maan Said, Founder and CEO.
A learning curve
“It’s been three years of hard work, perfecting the system and methodology. There has been a learning curve, particularly since these are not centralized farms, we are more sensitive to the accuracy of yields and pay particular attention to the demands of the Chef. Our efficiency now is such that we can now translate those specific requirements into reality and deliver those products as required,” Maan affirms.
Most imminently, the business will target expansion into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, enabling and enhancing local food production, in line with Saudi Vision 2030. The business aims to support the hospitality and healthcare sectors across major cities and new development projects in the Kingdom.
According to Maan, you have to get a certain amount of friction before something becomes known. “People are becoming aware of us. Acceptance is a result of happiness for us, and I get a lot of satisfaction from it too.
A unique niche market
“We have a niche in the market and we consider that to be unique. It might not be necessarily all-encompassing, but certainly tailored and bespoke for the customer. Walking 15 steps to get your produce versus traveling several miles, even locally, is a significant difference in quality and safety aspects.”
With the current funding round, Crysp Farms will continue its strategic expansion, introducing new farms in hotels and resorts. In the last month, Crysp Farms has partnered with five new properties, bringing its sustainable farms to more than 20 locations across the UAE, with many more in the pipeline across regional and international destinations including the Seychelles and Maldives.
With some projects in the healthcare and educational industry, mainly Crysp will be focusing on market penetration in the hospitality sector. Therefore, commercial farms are neither in the books, because ‘It is simply not our forté,” Maan explains.
The funding round
The ‘Pre-Series A’ round was structured and led by Gate Capital with participation from regional investors including from the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Munther Hilal, Chief Executive and Founder of Gate Capital said, “Crysp Farms has grown from an innovative idea to disrupt agriculture into a tangible green investment opportunity, with sturdy unit economics and a strong foundation paving the way for scalable growth. Gate Capital’s continuous commitment to ESG-led businesses is a testament to identifying impact investment opportunities”.