Impact 20-Apeel Sciences
Courtesy of Apeel Sciences

    In the U.S. alone, 108 billion pounds of food go to waste each year. To help bring that number down, Apeel makes an edible, natural coating solution designed to preserve fruits and vegetables. Any fruit or vegetable’s peel is made up of lipids, specifically glycerolipids and monoglycerides. When arranged in the proper ratio, those lipids can self-assemble to produce a new protective layer. So Apeel can rearrange the chemicals in a lemon’s peel, for instance, to preserve a strawberry, which would usually perish faster. Apeel-treated avocados, limes, and asparagus, among other produce, can last twice as long as untreated ones before spoiling, according to the company.

    Products that use Apeel coating are now carried at over 40 retailers in the U.S. and Europe. Apeel collaborates with retailers to address the produce quickest to spoil. That gift of extra time also allows businesses to make more sustainable choices, like delivering their product by boat rather than by plane. Since 2019, Apeel says it has prevented 42 million pieces of fruit from going to waste, averted 10 million kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions, and saved 4.7 billion liters of water. The company closed a Series E funding round in August, valuing it at $2 billion.

    Company information

    HeadquartersSanta Barbara, Calif.
    CEOJames Rogers
    No. of employeesApproximately 500
    InvestorsTemasek, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Mirae Asset Global Investments, Viking Global, Andreessen Horowitz, Tenere Capital, Sweetwater Private Equity, Tao Capital Partners, K3 Ventures, Upfront Ventures, BBL Partners, GIC, Oprah, Katy Perry, David Barber of Almanac Insights, Michael Ovitz of Creative Artists Agency, Anne Wojcicki of 23andMe, Susan Wojcicki of YouTube