Apeel Sciences, a protective food layer-making company, has raised USD 250 Million funding in Series E funding. This latest funding has increased its valuation to USD 2 Billion. Just in the period of one year, it has doubled its valuation. Since its establishment in 2012, it has bought in USD 635 Million worth of funding.
Singapore-based global investment firm Temasek, an existing investor of the company, led the funding round. Moreover, the World Bank Group, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, pop star Katy Perry, and Andreessen Horowitz, which are already the investors participated in the funding round. Anne and Susan Wojcicki of YouTube and 23andMe also joined as the new investors in Apeel Sciences.
The company’s objective is to increase the shelf-life of the food and prevent them to be part of the landfill. The COVID-19 outbreak has negatively impacted the food supply chain, which in turn, makes it important to not waste the food. Over the years of research & development, the company has created an edible substance that is covered over the fresh harvest to improve their shelf life. The tasteless and odorless covering of fruits and vegetables is produced from plant-based materials. It avoids water loss and prevents oxidation, which in turn, doubles the shelf-life of food.
Apeel’s Latest Partnerships
In September 2020, Walmart entered into a partnership with Apeel to introduce plastic-free cucumbers. The plastic covering weighed almost two grams, which is equivalent of five plastic straws. The company said that with launch of every 500,000 pieces of cucumbers, it will prevent the production of around 820,000 single-use plastic water bottles. Walmart accounts for around 25% of the US fresh grocery distribution. The partnership will help the company to launch its products in more than 100 retail stores in the country.
In May 2021, the company acquired ImpactVision, an imaging technology company, to integrate the latter company’s technology to reduce food wastage. ImpactVision uses hyperspectral technology to look over the quality of the food products. Apeel will use this technology to capture images of fruits and vegetables, which later will be processed with help of machine learning models to check the aspects of food quality. “Our journey began with Apeel’s plant-based protection – an invisible ‘peel’ that addresses the challenge of global food waste by bringing more time to fresh produce before it spoils. Now, we’re expanding our technology to bring to light the previously invisible characteristics of produce, including internal quality, phytonutrient content, and environmental impact,” said CEO of Apeel, James Rogers.
In August 2021, Apeel teamed up with Canada-based supplier Westmoreland to eliminate the use of single-use plastics on cucumber. In the first year of partnership, the latter company expects to curb eight million bottles of plastic to enter the landfills. “We’re excited to work with Westmoreland on their admirable journey to eliminate single-use plastic from their Long English Cucumbers,” said VP of Apeel, Erich Klawuhn.
Apeel Will Use its Funding to Increase its Supply Chain
Apeel’s innovative product claims to prevent the wastage of around 42 million fruits and has saved around 4.7 liters of water. Currently, the company operates in eight countries and has over 40 retail partners. The new funding is expected to help it to expand its supply chain network, expand its offerings, and acquire companies to leverage its market position. Apeel is expecting to add at least 10 supply networks by end of 2021. Moreover, the funding will be helping the company to increase the availability of limes, mangoes, cucumbers, apples, and avocados across Europe, the US, and the UK.
“We’ll use our latest funding to help our supplier and retailer partners offer a differentiated experience to their shoppers,” James Rogers said in a statement. “By using solutions by nature and for nature, and in collaboration with food supply chain partners around the world, we can ensure people everywhere have a great experience with their fresh produce while increasing the sustainability of the global food system.”
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