Red Sea brings in new CFO

Storm van Zyl says she is joining the controlled environment farming system provider at a time when growers and governments in hot climate countries are beginning to recognize the company’s competitive advantages.

Saltwater-based controlled environment farming system provider Red Sea Farms has hired an executive with a long history in agriculture and climate change projects to serve as chief financial officer.

RedSea, which spun out from Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in 2018, announced in mid-November it had hired Storm van Zyl for the CFO role. Cape Town, South Africa-based based van Zyl joins from data analysis provider Aerobotics, where she served as chief operating officer and CFO.

She assumes CFO responsibilities from Simon Bryant, who was promoted to company president in January and has been managing responsibilities of both positions since. In a statement, RedSea founder and chief executive Ryan Lefers characterized van Zyl’s hire as evidence of the company’s progress.

“Her deep knowledge of the sector positions her ideally to support RedSea, as we continue to grow our global presence and product range – currently deployed in 12 countries on five continents,” he said.

Van Zyl spent three years at Cape Town-headquartered Aerobotics, according to her LinkedIn profile. It also shows that previously, she spent seven years as a senior consultant at Greenlite Solutions in a position focused on research, project development and management for agricultural and climate change-related projects.

Van Zyl said in the statement that ReaSea’s potential and market opportunity are “huge.”

“It is a particularly exciting time as growers and governments in hot climate countries, globally, recognize RedSea’s unique competitive advantages,” she said,

In July 2022, Lefers told Agri Investor the startup planned to target $50 million in a Series A scheduled to launch later in the year.