agtech

Apeel Sciences, a company whose edible coating helps extend the shelf life of produce, announced Wednesday it raised $250 million in a Series E round that brings the company's valuation to $2 billion.

The latest round attracted a large group of new investors for the company, including Mirae Asset Global Investments, GIC, Viking Global Investors, Disruptive, Andreessen Horowitz, Tenere Capital, Sweetwater Private Equity, Tao Capital Partners, K3 Ventures, David Barber of Almanac Insights, Michael Ovitz of Creative Artists Agency, Anne Wojcicki of 23andMe, Susan Wojcicki of YouTube and singer Katy Perry.

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California is famous for its avocados, and avocados are a famously fickle fruit, ripe one moment and a ball of brown sludge the next.

Apeel Sciences is out to change that. The food science company has spent nearly a decade perfecting an edible coating that can be applied to fruits and vegetables to extend shelf-life by days, weeks or even months.

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Robots could soon take on the tasks of farmworkers harvesting the nation's food.

Santa Monica-based Future Acres, an agriculture tech startup, unveiled its first prototype on Tuesday — a robot named Carry that helps farmers transport crops.

Carry won't replace human employees that pick crops. Rather, the remote-operated machine will follow workers and take what they collect back to a sorting facility, speeding up operations in a labor-intensive industry. Since 2017, the team has been quietly busy testing the AI-powered machine that can transport up to 500 pounds of produce in virtually any weather condition.

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