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Development of sustainable, natural solution to combat food waste

Apeel Sciences, an agricultural innovation company, today announced $33 million in Series B financing led by Andreessen Horowitz and DBL Partners. The capital will be used to fuel the company’s mission of reducing food waste and reliance on chemicals with its natural plant-based approach to protecting and preserving fresh produce. Along with the investment, Andreessen Horowitz general partner Vijay Pande and DBL Partners managing partner Ira Ehrenpreis will assume Board of Directors seats with Apeel. Apeel’s Series B financing includes additional participation from Upfront Ventures, S2G Ventures, Powerplant Ventures, and Tao Capital Partners. 

Today in the U.S., 80 percent of available fresh water is used to grow food, yet nearly half of all we grow will never reach a plate due to natural spoilage that begins the moment food is harvested. This adds up to more than $160 billion worth of nutritious food wasted in the U.S. every year, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. To reduce this massive food loss and the resulting waste of resources, the Apeel team developed an innovative, all-natural approach to mitigate spoilage and keep fruits and vegetables fresh.

“Most people don’t realize that half of all food grown on this planet is lost due to natural spoilage. That’s an unthinkable amount of food that goes to waste, especially considering how many people we need to feed on this planet now and in the future,” said James Rogers, Founder and CEO of Apeel Sciences. “At Apeel, we’re on a mission to dramatically reduce food spoilage in a natural, sustainable and scalable way so we can make it possible for people everywhere to have access to fresh food.”

Inspired by nature, Apeel takes the parts of produce that are typically left behind on the farm, like leaves and stems, and repurposes them to create a natural, invisible, edible barrier that can be measured in nanometers and applied to food crops. Produce treated with Apeel is safe to eat because Apeel’s formulations are made entirely of natural FDA-approved food.

Apeel’s approach effectively doubles the marketable and edible lifespan of produce. Fruits and vegetables protected by Apeel open up new possibilities for growers and consumers alike. Apeel offers growers a new stream of income by making it possible to profit on produce that would otherwise never make it to market because of spoilage. Apeel enables consumers to save money by throwing away less food due to spoilage, and to enjoy fruits and vegetables at their ripest and highest nutritional value. 

"Reducing food waste even just by ten percent would feed millions, and at a time when one in six Americans are struggling to put food on the table,” said Vijay Pande, General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz and Apeel board member. “Apeel has developed a novel technology to tackle this problem that is rooted in James Rogers’ materials science expertise and his passion to make a great impact in the world.” 

“Apeel has the potential to be a poster child for impact investing because the company has both an extraordinary business opportunity that can deliver top-tier financial returns and, at the same time, is poised to generate massive global social, environmental and economic benefits,” said Ira Ehrenpreis, Managing Partner at DBL Partners and Apeel board member. “In its mission-driven approach to tackle food waste and spoilage, Apeel has the opportunity to be the easiest, most sustainable and efficient way to feed more people in the future. That’s a critical problem we need to address in an age of food insecurity, climate change, and substantial population growth in the coming decades.” 

"In the three years since our first investment in Apeel, James and the team have consistently exceeded every expectation in product development, customer pipeline, and laser-focused mission," said Yves Sisteron, Managing Partner of Upfront Ventures and Apeel board member. "We truly believe that Apeel will have global impact on food production and consumption, and we're thrilled to continue to support this phenomenal team on their journey."

"Our fund S2G Ventures invested in Apeel Sciences because we believe it’s a game-changer," said Victor Friedberg, Managing Director of S2G Ventures. "Rarely in food and agriculture do you find a company that solves a number of system’s problems, such as food waste, nutrition and sustainability, all in one massively scalable technology. We are honored to partner with this world-class team and investor syndicate." 

"We are proud to be involved with James Rogers and his incredibly talented team at Apeel," said Kevin Boylan, Partner at Powerplant Ventures. “Apeel's new plant-based technology for food preservation is game-changing and has international implications. It will positively impact a broad spectrum of people from farmers in the U.S. to those who are food-insecure in the developing world." 

"What's most exciting about Apeel is the prospect that we don't have to necessarily produce more food to feed the growing planet if we can salvage more of what is currently wasted," said Isaac Pritzker, Principal at Tao Capital Partners. "At Tao, we believe Apeel's innovations will positively impact everyone involved, from the consumer who wants fresh and nutritious food, to food producers who will have the opportunity to bring more of what they grow to market."

Apeel was founded in 2012 with a grant from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which is focused on food security and developing nations and creating economic opportunities for smallholder farmers. In partnership with The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the United Kingdom Department for International Development (UK Aid) is also supporting Apeel Sciences’ approach to reduce food spoilage. 

For more information on Apeel Sciences, please visit
Cherie Gatson
Tel: (510) 924-6451

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