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Estonian Foodtech Startup Natufia Labs Relocates to KSA After $3.5 Million KAUST-Led Investment

The startup behind the celebrated machine-learning-powered hydroponic kitchen garden will look to expand its R&D capabilities with its movies to the KAUST Research and Technology Park.

Estonian foodtech startup, Natufia Labs, is set to relocate to Saudi Arabia’s KAUST Research and Technology Park after raising $3.5 million in Series A funding, led by KAUST Innovation Fund and with participation from Finland’s Butterfly Ventures. It’s hoped that the move will help the startup expand its research and development.

Described as an automated kitchen garden startup, Natufia Labs was founded in 2014 by Gregory Lu who is leading the development of machine-learning tech that grows plants in a kitchen. The startup’s Natufia Kitchen Garden product does exactly that, with the ultimate aim of allowing chefs and clients to grow their own sustainable, high-quality products. Using hydroponic technology that allows herbs and plants to be grown all year round, the startup also looks to reduce food wastage in the food supply chain, something that has often faced countries in the GCC. It also reduces environmental impact by reducing packaging, pollution, food miles and toxins.

The kitchen garden is about the size of a fridge and comes as a self-contained cabinet that provides the needed combination of water, lighting and nutrients, able to provide as many as two harvests per day.

The relocation comes as part of a push by KAUST to attract the most innovative startups in the world to help elevate the Saudi ecosystem, while also providing local job opportunities.

Learn more about Natufia Labs here.


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