Agtech start-up Desert Control parts with its incubator platform after successful IPO on the Oslo Stock Exchange

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2 min read
AUTHOR: Tilly St Aubyn

After a period of rapid business growth and a stock market listing, Norway-based agtech start-up Desert Control has graduated from the incubator it joined in 2018.
With its recent IPO on Euronext Growth Oslo reaching approximately AED 85 million (approximately £16.5 million), Desert Control, has taken the decision to pursue the next stage of growth and has already launched new offices in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

The four-year-old start-up endeavours to reduce desertification and soil degradation through the use of liquid natural clay (LNC). Sprayed using advanced technology, LNC is applied directly on top of the desert soil enabling the ground below to retain much needed nutrients and become fertile land within seven hours. With an area twice the size of Denmark being lost to desertification each day, Desert Control holds an ambitious global strategy and are planning commercial rollout.

The start-up joined Dubai-based incubator, In5, to accelerate its growth and was soon labelled one of the World Economic Forum’s Top 100 Arab start-ups. As it courts international recognition, Desert Control is now leaving In5.

Speaking to Gulf Business, Managing Director Atle Idland said of the move: “In5 has been a great arena for the UAE and Dubai establishment of Desert Control activities, and 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 added that the gardens adjacent to In5 offices were treated with LNC and resulting in 45% less irrigation water needed to create a healthy green lawn.

Ole Kristian Sivertsen, Desert Control CEO, commented: “LNC can significantly accelerate the food security strategy of the UAE and other regional countries. Enormous amounts of water are required to maintain green landscapes and forests across the nation, but if we can shift 50 percent of this water to agriculture and food production, the results will be amazing. Further, by transforming desert into arable land that sequesters carbon and promotes biodiversity, we address water scarcity, food security, and climate action at the same time.”.

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