SANTA BARBARA, CALIF. – Apeel Sciences, a company that has developed a plant-derived solution to extend the shelf life of fresh produce without refrigeration and reduce food waste, has received $250 million in new financing from a group led by GIC, a long-term investor based in Singapore. Combined with past investments, Apeel Sciences' valuation is now over $1 billion, according to the company.

Management said the financing will enable the company to expand globally. Apeel Sciences is currently working with produce suppliers and retailers in North America and Europe.

“We are proud to team up with GIC to help create a better future with less waste,” said James Rogers, founder and chief executive officer. “Food waste is an invisible tax imposed on everyone that participates in the food system. Eliminating global food waste can free up $2.6 trillion annually, allowing us to make the food ecosystem better for growers, distributors, retailers, consumers and our planet.”

Additional participating investors in the new financing include Viking Global Investors, Upfront Ventures, Tao Capital Partners and Rock Creek Group. Celebrities Oprah Winfrey and Katy Perry also have joined as minority, non-participatory investors.

The Apeel product works on fresh fruit and vegetables by adding a layer to the surface that slows water loss and oxidation. The company said, on average, US retailers that use Apeel have experienced a 50% reduction in shrink, a 5% to 10% growth in dollar sales, and an incremental 10% growth in dollar sales when sold in conjunction with in-store marketing campaigns.