( Apeel )

Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Apeel Sciences has announced $70 million in new financing.

The financing is led by Viking Global Investors, with Andreessen Horowitz, Upfront Ventures, and S2G Ventures, with participation from others, according to a news release.

Walter Robb, former co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, will join Apeel Sciences’ Board of Directors and advise the company as it scales to meet demand in the U.S. and internationally. 

“We were looking for partners who saw the long-term vision for Apeel fruits and vegetables in the U.S. and also abroad in countries that don’t necessarily have the cold chain infrastructure,” James Rogers, founder and CEO of Apeel Sciences, said in the release.

The financing round comes after Apeel Sciences began to aggressively commercialize its technology.

In June, the company introduced Apeel avocados at Costco and Harps Food Stores. Since Apeel avocados were introduced at Harps Food Stores in May, the release said the chain has experienced a 65% increase in margin and a 10% lift in hass sales.

That, the company said, is the first evidence of food waste reduction driving margin and profitability for fresh food suppliers and retailers. 

According to the release, the new funding will be used to accelerate the company’s scale-up in response to supplier and retailer demand for programs for avocados, citrus, berries, stone fruit and asparagus. 

Apeel plans to hire more employees at its 105,000 square-foot facility in Santa Barbara. The company plans to establish facilities in different growth regions in the U.S., the release said.

 
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