Food waste start-up Apeel Sciences has secured $250 million in financing to help improve the resilience of the fresh food supply chain and fight food waste on a global scale.
The round, which brings the company’s valuation to over $1 billion following previous investment in 2019, was led by GIC with participation from Viking Global Investors, Upfront Ventures, Tao Capital Partners and Rock Creek Group.
Based in California, Apeel Sciences aims to combat food waste by using its plant-derived solution to add a little extra “peel” to the surface of fruits and vegetables. The company’s edible coating product reportedly doubles to triples the shelf life of many produce types without the need for refrigeration.
Apeel Sciences intends to reduce food waste throughout the supply chain from packer to retailer to consumers at home and claims it is on track this year to save 20 million pieces of fruit from going to waste at retail stores.
While US and European produce suppliers and retailers will remain Apeel’s top priority, the funding also ensures greater support of the company’s initiatives in economies in Sub-Saharan Africa, Central and South America that are at greater risk of food security issues and food waste.
The company estimated that US retailers that use Apeel have experienced a 50% reduction in shrink and a 5-10% growth in sales.
James Rogers, founder and CEO of Apeel Sciences, said: “Food waste is an invisible tax imposed on everyone that participates in the food system. Eliminating global food waste can free up $2.6 trillion annually, allowing us to make the food ecosystem better for growers, distributors, retailers, consumers and our planet.
“Together, we’re putting time back on the industry’s side to help deal with the food waste crisis and the challenges it poses to food businesses.”
Santa Barbara locals Oprah Winfrey and Katy Perry also joined the round as minority, non-participatory investors.
Winfrey, who also participated in the 2019 investment round, added: “I hate to see food wasted, when there are so many people in the world who are going without. Apeel can extend the life of fresh produce, which is critical to our food supply and our planet too.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019