As James Roger drove through California’s cropland, he realized that the world doesn’t necessarily have a food production problem, but it has a food waste problem. A lot of produce is spoiled between where it’s grown and where it needs to be distributed to be consumed.
James Rogers founded Apeel in 2012 as a solution to the food waste problem. Apeel has created a treatment using a layer of plant-derived protection. This is applied to the surface of fresh produce to slow water loss and oxidation which slows down spoilage. Rogers started working on the technology that would become the core of Apeel’s product while studying at UCSB. He believes that this innovation can help solve the world food shortage problem.
By using organic materials such as leftover grape pressings from wineries, Apeel adds an invisible, tasteless barrier to food products. This barrier keeps moisture in and oxygen out. As a result, produce stays fresh two to three times longer.
The company recently raised $250 million from Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund and others. Bringing the total financing to $360 million. Over eight years, the startup has attracted investors like Upfront Ventures, S2G Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and Powerplant Ventures. Additionally, celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Katy Perry are also backing the startup.
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