Apeel Sciences is tackling the world’s wasted food problem armed with a $250 million round of new funding and a $1 billion valuation.
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GIC led the new round of funding with participation from Viking Global Investors, Upfront Ventures, Tao Capital Partners and Rock Creek Group, as well as some big stars, including Oprah Winfrey and Katy Perry. With Tuesday’s new funding round, Santa Barbara, California-based Apeel has raised a total of $360.1 million, according to Crunchbase data.
Founded in 2012, the company develops rot-reduction coatings for produce available at top food retailers in the United States and Europe. The coatings are plant-derived and double or triple the shelf life of many fruits and vegetables, without needing refrigeration, the company said in a written statement.
This year, Apeel said it is on track to save 20 million pieces of fruit from going to waste at retailers, as well as in homes, where food waste rates are three times as high.
“We are proud to team up with GIC to help create a better future with less waste,” James Rogers, founder and CEO of Apeel Sciences, said in a written statement. “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.”
Apeel’s news follows another sustainable food startup, San Francisco-based Imperfect Foods, which said it raised $72 million in Series C funding on May 20, led by Insight Partners. The company said the new funds will go toward improving the food supply chain.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias