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Building on a new substantial influx of new financing, Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Apeel Sciences says it is poised to expand to more suppliers, produce categories, retailers and foodservice channels around the world.
The company in late May announced $250 million in new financing, and endorsements from Oprah Winfrey and Katy Perry.
The financial boost brings the company’s valuation to more than $1 billion.
It will enable the company, which markets a post-harvest shelf-life extending technology for fresh produce to continue tackling food waste on the global level, according to a news release.
GIC led investors on the round of funding, with Viking Global Investors, Up front Ventures, Tao Capital Partners and Rock Creek Group also participating. Celebrities Oprah Winfrey and Katy Perry joined the effort as minority, non-participatory investors to support Apeel’s mission, according to the release.
The funding and support from celebrities like Oprah and Katy Perry will help increase awareness on what needs to happen in order to successfully reduce food waste across the supply chain, according to the company, and will help accelerate Apeel’s path, “enabling more time, access and freshness across the supply chain.”
The company has reported it has significantly expanded its global footprint over the past year, with Apeel produce, including apples, avocados and citrus, in stores throughout the U.S., Germany and Denmark.
The company recently published its first sustainability report (bit.ly/apeel-sustainability), which examined food waste and resource reduction enabled by Apeel’s solution throughout a fruit or vegetable’s life cycle.
For example, the report included Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) of avocados, limes, apples and other commodities. In the case of avocados, the LCA showed that an Apeel-treated avocado requires 23 fewer liters of water and 30 fewer grams of greenhouse gas emissions than untreated fruit.
Since 2018, Apeel has saved over 2 million avocados at grocery stores from going to waste, which has saved enough water to fill 427 Olympic-sized swimming pools, according to the company.
With COVID-19 causing major disruptions in the fresh food supply chain, Apeel’s solution enables longer lasting produce and operational flexibility, the company said.
“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,” Apeel Sciences CEO James Rogers said in the release.
Apeel produce also helps consumers by extending shelf life and giving more time to enjoy it and less of a chance it will go to waste, according to company officials.