James Rogers, Ph.D., founder of Apeel Sciences is a company that uses advances in materials science to prevent waste — a sustainable approach to the world’s growing food demands. The company developed a plant-derived solution for fresh food providers that doubles the lifespan of harvested fruits and vegetables. Apeel received $40 million in funding from Andreessen Horowitz, Viking Global Investors, Upfront Ventures, S2G Ventures, Powerplant Ventures, DBL Partners, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and The Rockefeller Foundation.
Recently, the company was valued at $150 million (PitchBook).
The company’s technology basically works like this: Plant materials that are left behind on the farm (leaves and peels, for instance) are blended, and then lipid molecules are extracted. The resulting powder is then turned into a liquid that is sprayed on produce; fruits and vegetables can also be dipped into the solution. The company’s first products are Apeel Avocado and Apeel Citrus.
The technology, which was approved for use in the EU by the European commission in June 2019, is on the shelves in Germany and France, and is now being tested in the UK by Asda.
Just barely breaking into the world market, this sounds like a tremendous opportunity not only for Apeel, but also for investors.
How do the investors at Bayer/Monsanto feel about all this?
John Stone, March, 2020.