Apeel secured $250 million in funds.
The California based food system innovations company plans to spend the money gathered within the remit of a Series E funding round on the development of the supply networks that its range of long-lasting, high quality food products utilises.
Consisting of a taste and odourless plant-based layer that is permeable to oxygen but imperturbable to moisture, the technological innovation conceived of by Apeel serves to reduce the rise of organic food waste by improving shelf life.
Since 2019, Apeel has prevented 42 million pieces of fruit from going to waste in a retail environment. This, in turn, has helped save 4,7 billion litres of water.
Currently, the company has 30 supply networks in 8 countries, these being intended for the transport and delivery of Apeel-protected fruits and vegetables to relevant retailers and produce suppliers. The additional funding will serve to establish another 10 supply networks across the US, the UK and Europe by end of this year.
The investment will also go towards the company’s existing data gathering system-in May 2021, Apeel bought ImpactVision, a type of hyperspectral imaging technology that allows retailers to gauge the interior quality of fresh produce by monitoring factors such as freshness, ripeness as well as nutritional density. The insights on food quality derived from these datasets are intended to boost the efficiency of the entire food supply chain whilst improving distribution.
The importance of accurate information reflecting buy behaviour has been highlighted by the pandemic, which now sees consumers buy items sporadically, yet in greater volume, with an eye towards sustainability.
Apeel sees its role as a facilitator and knowledge broker of sorts for proponents across the entire food value chain, the company’s end goal being the empowerment of suppliers and retailers via information that can help them reduce food waste. As such, the company has grown out of its role of ‘merely’ providing long-lasting fruit and vegetables as a service.
James Rogers, CEO of Apeel, said: “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.”