SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Apeel Sciences, a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer and recognized among TIME Magazine’s Best Inventions and Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas, announced $250M in new financing. GIC led the most current capital raise, and with previous investment from Oprah Winfrey in 2019 and others, it brings the company’s valuation to over one billion dollars. The new financing will enable the company to continue tackling the food waste problem on the global level. In 2020, Apeel is on track to save 20 million pieces of fruit from going to waste at retail stores, while also extending shelf-life in the home where food waste rates are three times as high.
Apeel is on a mission to combat food waste by using its plant-derived solution to add a little extra “peel” to the surface of fruits and vegetables, doubling to tripling the shelf life of many produce types without the need for refrigeration. An updated report by Project Drawdown recently identified the reduction of food waste as the number one solution to address climate change based on the greenhouse gases emitted from both the production of food and having it ultimately decompose in a landfill.
Apeel dramatically reduces food waste throughout almost every step of the supply chain — from packer to retailer and ultimately to consumers at home — thereby increasing the efficiency of Earth’s resources required to feed a global population. While driving value for U.S. and European produce suppliers and retailers will remain a top priority, Apeel’s 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.
“We are proud to team up with GIC to help create a better future with less waste,” said James Rogers, Founder and CEO of Apeel Sciences. “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 annually1, 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.”
Additional participating investors in the company’s recent capital raise include Viking Global Investors, Upfront Ventures, Tao Capital Partners and Rock Creek Group. Santa Barbara locals Oprah Winfrey and Katy Perry have also joined the effort as minority, non-participatory investors to support the company’s mission in making sustainable food systems a reality for all.
“I hate to see food wasted, when there are so many people in the world who are going without,” said Winfrey. “Apeel can extend the life of fresh produce, which is critical to our food supply and our planet too.”
To date, Apeel Sciences has achieved several major commercialization milestones with the top food retailers in the United States and Europe. On average, U.S. retailers that use Apeel have experienced a 50% reduction in shrink, a 5-10% growth in dollar sales, and an incremental 10% growth in dollar sales when sold in conjunction with in-store marketing campaigns. Apeel’s food waste reduction results underscore the industry’s growing commitment to reducing waste and consumer demand for quality fresh produce that leads to less food waste at home.
In recent weeks, COVID-19 and its vast personal and economic impact have caused major disruptions in the food supply chain. Understanding the resources and functions required to grow, produce and move food through the system has made the need to safeguard our precious food supply more apparent than ever. The current food system is calibrated so closely to past supply and demand expectations and the exact perishability of fresh produce that when the system is stretched, the system breaks. By introducing more time, access and freshness across the supply chain, Apeel’s technology extends value and increases operational flexibility for suppliers and retailers. Additionally, shoppers who are more cognizant of their own personal food supply can bring home high quality produce with a longer window to enjoy it.
ABOUT APEEL PRODUCE
From strawberries to peppers, every fruit and vegetable has a protective peel or skin that nature uses to keep it fresh. Made from materials found in fruit, Apeel adds a little extra “peel” to the surface of fresh produce to slow water loss and oxidation (two factors that cause spoilage). Apeel produce stays fresh for much longer, so you have more time to enjoy it at its most delicious — and much less food and money is wasted. For suppliers and retailers, Apeel’s technology creates an optimal microclimate inside every fruit or vegetable, maintaining quality while extending shelf life and transportability — with reduced reliance on refrigeration and controlled atmosphere. For more information, see the Apeel FAQ.
ABOUT APEEL SCIENCES
Apeel Sciences is a company that is fighting the global food waste crisis by utilizing nature’s tools to prevent waste in the first place — a sustainable approach to the world’s growing food demands. The company’s plant-derived technology helps fresh food growers, suppliers, and retailers maintain produce quality and extend shelf life, which minimizes food waste from the farm to the retail shelf to the kitchen table.
Apeel Sciences was founded in 2012 with a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help reduce postharvest food loss in developing countries that lack access to refrigeration. Today, Apeel formulations have been proven effective at reducing the rate of spoilage for dozens of USDA Organic Certified and conventional produce categories, and the company works with partners ranging from smallholder farmers and local organic growers to the world’s largest food brands and retailers.
Founded by CEO James Rogers, PhD, Apeel Sciences’ funding partners include GIC, Upfront Ventures, Viking Global Investors, Andreessen Horowitz, Tao Capital Partners, S2G Ventures, Powerplant Ventures, DBL Partners, Rock Creek Group, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, UK Department for International Development, and The Rockefeller Foundation. The company is recognized as a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer, a Friend of Champions 12.3, and a 2019 CNBC Disruptor 50.
Apeel and Apeel Sciences are trademarks or registered trademarks of Apeel Technology, Inc. in the United States, the European Union, and other jurisdictions.
1 “Sustainability Pathways: Food Wastage Footprint,” Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, http://www.fao.org/nr/sustainability/food-loss-and-waste/en/