Apeel Sciences, a Santa Barbara, California-based developer of food-based coatings, secured $70m in financing.
The round was led by Viking Global Investors with participation from Andreessen Horowitz, Upfront Ventures and S2G Ventures. In conjunction with the funding, Walter Robb, former co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, will join Apeel’s board of directors.
The company intends to use the funds to scale to meet demand for programs across avocado, citrus, berry, stone fruit, and asparagus categories from U.S. and international fresh food suppliers and retailers, to grow its team based out of its 105k square-foot facility in Santa Barbara, establish satellite facilities to service partners in U.S. growth regions, and continue its focus on developing new plant-based solutions with a wide range of applications across perishable categories.
Led by James Rogers, Founder and CEO, Apeel Sciences has developed plant-derived technology for USDA Organic Certified and conventional fresh food growers, suppliers, and retailers to improve produce quality and extend shelf life, which minimizes food waste from the farm to the retail shelf to the kitchen.
The company was founded in 2012 with a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.