SANTA BARBARA, Calif., Aug. 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Apeel, a food system innovation company recognized as a CNBC Disruptor 50 and one of Fast Company's Most Innovative Companies, today announced $250M in Series E funding led by returning investor Temasek. The company's total funding now exceeds $635 million, with a valuation over $2 billion dollars.
New and returning investors include Mirae Asset Global Investments, GIC, Viking Global Investors, Disruptive, Andreessen Horowitz, Tenere Capital, Sweetwater Private Equity, Tao Capital Partners, K3 Ventures, David Barber of Almanac Insights, Michael Ovitz of Creative Artists Agency, Anne Wojcicki of 23andMe, Susan Wojcicki of YouTube, and Katy Perry.
"The pandemic has completely shaken up food retail: people are increasingly buying their fresh produce online, while simultaneously expecting the best in terms of quality and sustainability," said James Rogers, CEO of Apeel. "We'll use our latest funding to help our supplier and retailer partners offer a differentiated experience to their shoppers: high-quality produce that's less likely to go to waste at home. 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."
Food waste accounts for roughly 8 percent of global greenhouse gases, which makes reducing it the most impactful action people can take to fight climate change. This new investment will be used in part to accelerate Apeel's partnerships and plant-based products that aim to prevent food waste at every step of the fresh food supply chain, including for the consumer at home where approximately 25 percent of produce purchased goes to waste in American households.
Apeel will also use its new funding to co-create new supply networks with produce suppliers and retailers that will increase the availability of longer-lasting produce, including avocados, limes, mangoes, cucumbers, apples and more, for consumers across the U.S., U.K., and Europe. Today, Apeel has teams and partners on the ground in eight countries operating 30 supply networks that apply Apeel's plant-based protection to produce, capture internal and external data, and distribute Apeel-protected produce to 40 retail partners and tens of thousands of stores around the world. With its new funding, the company plans to operationalize at least 10 additional supply networks by the end of the year.
Additionally, the company will use its funding to advance its data and insights offerings, including potential acquisitions, to complement Apeel's growing technology stack. In May 2021, Apeel announced its first acquisition: an advanced imaging technology that provides unparalleled access to the natural database inside of every piece of produce, including valuable metrics such as stage of ripeness, nutritional content, and other indicators of quality and shelf life. With its funding, the company will continue to integrate advanced imaging technology into its application systems and make this data available to its partners.
"Our choice to partner with Apeel supports our mission to deliver new and superior products that are better for our retail partners, their customers, and the environment," said Alvaro Munoz, CEO AM FRESH Group, a world leader in sustainable farming, cutting-edge varietal development and commercialization of fresh produce with global sales over $1.5B. "We have seen first-hand how Apeel extends the lifespan of fresh produce by using resources from nature, and we know today's consumer expects more from producers and wants to enjoy healthier, innovative and longer-lasting produce. I'm excited to see the innovations Apeel and AM FRESH will create for the benefit of our customers and the planet. Combining our efforts, we strive to deliver the best of the AgriTech boom to our partners and customers and together usher natural, non-GMO fresh goods with enhanced nutritional profiles — fresh produce that requires less natural resources in an effort to boost a growing healthy world population."
As Apeel's supplier and retailer partnerships expand, so does consumer access to longer-lasting fresh produce. Since 2019, Apeel has prevented 42 million pieces of fruit from going to waste at retail, which has helped avoid 10,000 metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent of greenhouse gas emissions and conserve nearly 4.7 billion liters of water. What's more, retailers are realizing the benefits of Apeel produce in terms of dramatically less food waste in stores. Food retailers that carry Apeel produce have reported increases in shopper satisfaction due to produce that stays fresher for longer while maintaining quality, and up to 50 percent reductions in avocado food waste with corresponding sales growth. An indicator of its impacts, Apeel has been featured in four food retail Environment, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) and sustainability reports to-date, including Longos and Migros.
Visit Apeel's website to locate Apeel produce and for more information about Apeel's food system innovations.
Apeel is on a mission to create a more sustainable global food system by working with nature to use the power of materials and data sciences. Apeel's plant-based protection allows for longer-lasting produce by using materials already found in the skins, peels, and seeds of all fruits and vegetables. This protective extra "peel" slows the water loss and oxidation that causes produce to spoil, and it's the only proven solution for maintaining freshness from farm to kitchen. Apeel's plant-based protection is available for an ever-growing number of categories and markets, including organic and conventionally grown produce. Additionally, Apeel is integrating new tools that will allow the food system to do more with the extra time created by Apeel's plant-based protection.