Home News “Let’s take what the orange knows and teach it to the cucumber”: Apeel Sciences valued at $2B

“Let’s take what the orange knows and teach it to the cucumber”: Apeel Sciences valued at $2B


Food waste and the disruptions in the global supply chain caused by the pandemic have highlighted the problem that a California-based startup has found a solution for. Apeel Sciences has raised a $250 million Series E funding round that took its valuation above $2 billion. Katy Perry and Oprah Winfrey are among its celebrity backers. With the new funding, Apeel has now raised over $635 million since the company was founded in 2012.

It is a food system innovation company that developed technology, which protects produce by slowing spoilage-causing water loss and oxidation, keeping it fresh twice as long. That means less fruits and vegetables go to waste throughout the supply chain. Available for organic and conventionally grown produce, and an ever-growing number of categories, Apeel is the end-to-end solution for freshness.

The company created a plant-based layer for the surface of fruits and vegetables that is tasteless and odorless and that keeps moisture in while letting oxygen out.

“The food system is taxed beyond its limit,” says James Rogers, Apeel Sciences founder and chief executive. “We view our job at Apeel to build the food system and support the weight of a couple of more billion people on the planet.”

In the past, farmers had turned to pesticides to prevent disease and infestations that could kill crops, and preservative methods like single-use plastic packaging or environmentally hazardous chemical treatments.

“We’re out of shortcuts,” says Rogers. “Single-use plastic had its day and pesticides had their day. Let’s take what the orange knows and teach it to the cucumber so that it doesn’t have to be wrapped in plastic. When you reduce that waste there’s a ton of economic value that is unlocked. 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.”

Since 2019, Apeel has prevented 42 million pieces of fruit from going to waste at retail locations; that includes up to 50% reduction in avocado food waste with corresponding sales growth. Those 42 million pieces of saved fruit also helped conserve nearly 4.7 billion liters of water.

The company is now present in eight countries, operating 30 supply networks and  distributing produce to 40 retail partners, which then goes out to tens of thousands of stores around the world.

Kris Bort, founding partner of Sakal Ventures, is convinced that this is a great time to invest in environmental companies.

“Food waste is a global issue,” Bort comments. “Apeel has come up with a great solution to this problem. Investing in companies that offer this kind of technology is very rewarding.”

At Sakal Ventures, we provide an avenue for individual investors into the private market.

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