Apeel Sciences has announced $70 million in new financing led by Viking Global Investors with Andreessen Horowitz, Upfront Ventures and S2G Ventures, with participation from others.
Apeel Sciences developed an “extra peel” that’s applied to the surface of fresh produce to give the fruit or vegetable more protection from water loss and oxidation. The process keeps the produce fresh longer, promoting sustainable growing practices, better quality and less food waste.
In June, the company introduced Apeel avocados at Costco and Harps Food Stores in the U.S. Since May, when the avocados became available at Harps, the company has seen a 10 percent increase in avocado sales and a 65 percentage-point increase in margin.
“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,” said James Rogers, founder and CEO of Apeel Sciences. “We're honored to have Viking Global Investors and Walter Robb as new partners on our journey to help the fresh-food supply chain gain efficiencies that will help put a stop to food waste and enable better quality food to come to market.”
Apeel Sciences’ new funding will be leveraged to accelerate the company's scale-up in response to supplier and retailer demand for programs across avocado, citrus, berry, stone fruit and asparagus categories. The company recently introduced Apeel products for organic and conventional citrus, which will enable suppliers and retailers to improve quality and unlock new revenue opportunities. Additionally, Apeel plans to grow its team, establish satellite facilities to service partners in U.S. growth regions, and continue developing new plant-based solutions across perishable categories.
“A great next generation entrepreneur has come along using food itself to naturally extend the life of food, heralding a new era of possibility and promise,” said Walter Robb, former co-CEO of Whole Foods Market. “James and the team at Apeel Sciences are amazing and I am truly excited to be part of their efforts.”
Robb is joining Apeel Sciences' Board of Directors and will advise the company as it scales to meet demand from U.S. and international fresh-food suppliers and retailers.
Source: Apeel Sciences