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Apeel raises $70 million to curb food waste

ImpactAlpha, August 1 – The Santa Barbara, Calif.-based company makes a natural, edible coating for produce that can extend the post-harvest life of fruits and vegetables two or three times the norm. The company developed the plant-based coating to combat the $2.6 trillion global food waste problem (which includes $1 trillion in direct economic costs.)

The company manages the coating’s application for large customers, and offers a “self-serve” option for smaller buyers, Axios reports.

Apeel launched in 2012, backed by a grant from the Gates Foundation. It has now raised a $70 million Series C round, led by Viking Global Investors and backed by existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Upfront Ventures and S2G Ventures. The new funding will be used to grow Apeel’s business in certain products, like avocados, berries, and citrus, and to build satellite facilities in key agricultural hubs in the U.S.

A host of startups are using technology to tackle food waste from a variety of fronts, such as Yume’s matchmaking service for surplus food sales; Inspirafarm’s off-grid refrigerators to preserve post-harvest crops; of WISErg’s waste-to-fuel systems.

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