The collaborative approach makes sense given the accelerating pace of start-up development in the Kingdom, which accounted for the most VC deals in MENA in the second quarter, according to industry expert MAGNiTT. While COVID-19 has hurt some start-ups, especially in tourism and entertainment, it has spurred others, such as those in e-commerce.
"The Red Sea Farms deal was significant for Wa'ed because it is taking us to a new level in venture capital dealmaking," said Salman T. Jaffrey, the chief investment officer of Wa'ed Ventures, the VC arm of Wa'ed. "It allows us to play in a bigger league in terms of deal size."
Wa'ed's current financial mandates limit its venture capital investment commitment to 19 million SAR ($5.0 million) per company.
"Red Sea Farms is a good example of a game-changing start-up whose innovations not only can transform markets but improve life for everyone in the Kingdom,” Wassim Basrawi, the Wa'ed managing director, said. "This is perfect for our climate region, but in the age of global warming, this is also a bedrock technology for the future of the world."