In5 alumni, Desert Control, raises AED 85 million in its IPO on Euronext Growth Oslo
Agri-tech startup, Desert Control, has opened a new office in Dubai and expanded to Abu Dhabi after successfully raising approximately AED 85 million in its initial public offering (IPO) on Euronext Growth Oslo, a multilateral trading facility operated by the Oslo Stock Exchange. The company is the latest in5 graduate to leave the business incubator and pursue its next phase of growth.
Desert Control is now ready to launch commercial rollout of its liquid natural clay (LNC) – an innovation that turns deserts into fertile land. With 12 million hectares of fertile land – an area more than twice the size of Denmark – lost to desertification every year, Desert Control has an ambitious global strategy to contribute to stopping and reversing soil degradation. By spraying LNC directly onto the ground, the company’s innovative technology allows topsoil, sandy soil and desert sand to retain water and nutrients. It has the potential to regreen arid land, sequester millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide, create thousands of sustainable jobs and enhance food security. It also comes as water scarcity concern has never been higher, with agriculture and food production estimated to consume more than 70 per cent of all available freshwater globally.
Atle Idland, Managing Director at Desert Control Middle East, said: “in5 has been a great arena for the UAE and the establishment of Desert Control activities in Dubai. We are grateful for the continuous support we have received throughout our growth stage. We are now moving into a fast scale-up phase where we are recruiting heavily and need more space. However, we will remain a proud in5 alumni and will always think back to our great days at in5.”
Idland shared that the gardens adjacent to in5 were treated with LNC and the results were spectacular: 45 percent less irrigation water was needed to create a lush, healthy green lawn and landscape areas in comparison to traditional methods.
According to a statement from the company, LNC can significantly accelerate the food security strategy of the UAE and other regional countries.
Desert Control joined in5 in 2018 and quickly leveraged the cost-effective business set-up, co-working spaces and networking opportunities it provided. It was subsequently named one of the World Economic Forum’s Top 100 Arab startups and has now become the latest member of the in5 alumni network. Its rapid growth and stock market listing is a success story for both Norway and the UAE.