- Shelf-life enhancing startup Hazel Applied sciences introduced the shut of a $70 million Sequence C spherical co-led by Pontifax International Meals and Agriculture Expertise Fund (Pontifax AgTech) and Temasek, a Singapore-based international funding fund, in response to a press launch. Different buyers included S2G Ventures, Pangea Ventures, Rhapsody Enterprise Companions, Asahi Kasai Ventures, Jordan Park Group, and the Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham Basis.
- Hazel Applied sciences creates sachets that may be positioned in bulk containers of produce on the time of harvest to inhibit the discharge of the ripening agent ethylene. The startup claims it might prolong shelf life as much as thrice in comparison with produce transported with out the sachets.
- The corporate mentioned it’s going to use the latest spherical of financing to commercialize its know-how globally. By the top of 2021, Hazel estimates its sachets can have saved almost 1 billion kilos of produce from going to waste since its founding in 2015.
Roughly one-third of all meals produced around the globe is wasted, in response to information from the United Nations. This quantities to 1.3 billion tons of meals every year, creating 3.3 billion tons of greenhouse gases.
Discovering methods to curb waste has turn into a significant focus for the meals business, customers and buyers in recent times. In 2020, almost 200 corporations pledged to chop meals waste in half by 2030, together with Mondelez, Nestlé and PepsiCo. That very same yr, the Shopper Items Discussion board organized a gaggle led by CEOs at 14 of the most important producers and retailers to sort out meals waste, together with Normal Mills, Kellogg, Nestlé, McCain Meals and Barilla.
Innovation may very well be a significant piece of the puzzle in serving to corporations attain that aim. Tapping a startup’s know-how gives a faster strategy to discover workable options in comparison with growing a meals waste-focused R&D division in-house or fully revamping provide chain logistics. Traders have caught on to this chance: In 2018, meals waste startups raised $125 million in enterprise funding, and so they proceed to attract investments.
Hazel’s sachets supply a comparatively straightforward strategy to preserve produce on the shelf longer. They don’t require further infrastructure, equipment, or workers coaching. The sachets may also be used alongside every step of the availability chain with out requiring staff to vary present operations.
Hazel claims to be working with over 160 corporations in 12 international locations, together with Mission Avocado, kiwifruit distributor Zespri, and Canadian produce distributor Oppy. It stories being on observe to have its sachets used with over 6.3 billion kilos of recent produce, which is able to in the end stop over 500 million kilos of it from ending up within the trash. And on prime of produce, Hazel can also be reportedly exploring functions of its know-how to meat merchandise.
There are a number of different startups tackling the meals waste drawback. Apeel Sciences, which raised $250 million final yr from names like Oprah Winfrey and Katy Perry, has developed a plant-based coating utilized to supply that extends shelf life. StixFresh has created a sticker that may prolong the shelf-life of sure produce gadgets by as much as 14 days via the discharge of chemical substances that assist defend the produce. In the meantime, Seebo, which introduced a $24 million enterprise spherical final month, is utilizing AI to assist meals producers scale back waste throughout manufacturing.
Regardless of the more and more aggressive meals waste tech phase, Hazel appears to be retaining tempo. It was not too long ago chosen as a finalist for Quick Firm’s 2020 World Altering Concepts competitors, received Finest Sustainable Packaging on the 2020 World Meals Innovation Awards and it has obtained funding from the U.S. Division of Agriculture in 2020 for its potato-focused preservation tech.