Apeel has landed $30 million in new funding from the World Bank’s International Finance Corp. (IFC), Singapore state-owned investment company Temasek and Astanor Ventures, the maker of a food-spoilage preventative said in a press release Tuesday.
The funding is earmarked to help small-holder farmers in emerging markets extend crop shelf-life and reach new markets, including in the US and Germany, Apeel said.
US-based Apeel has said its plant-derived solution adds an extra “peel” to the outside of fruit and vegetables, extending the shelf life without refrigeration by slowing water loss and oxidation.
“The harsh reality is that it is nearly impossible today for most smallholder farmers to get their produce to a marketplace that will pay for it before it spoils,” James Rogers, founder and CEO of Apeel, said in the statement.
“Apeel was founded on the belief that we can improve food security around the world by using technology to create opportunities for those who have limited or no access to the global food system,” he said. “The new funding from IFC, Temasek, and Astanor will enable us to not only give smallholder farmers more time to market their fresh produce, but also greater access to higher-value markets previously out of reach because of inevitable perishability.”
Lost or wasted food generates around 37 million cars’ worth of greenhouse gas emissions in the US, according to the World Wildlife Federation. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has estimated food wastage costs around $1 trillion every year, with an additional $700 billion of environmental costs and $900 billion of social costs.
Apeel’s new programs, working with the IFC, will set up supply chains in sub-Saharan Africa, Mexico, Central and South America and Southeast Asia, the statement said.
The company’s technology will also work to improve domestic supply chains and reduce food loss without refrigeration, Apeel said.
Apeel has raised a total of $391.4 million in funding, including the latest injection, according to Crunchbase data.
Previous investors in Apeel have included Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC, Viking Global Investors, Upfront Ventures, Tao Capital Partners and Rock Creek Group, while celebrities Oprah Winfrey and Katy Perry also have joined as minority, non-participatory investors.
Other investors in the company include Andreessen Horowitz, S2G Ventures, Powerplant Ventures, DBL Partners, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, UK Department for International Development and The Rockefeller Foundation.