Preserving fruits and vegetables beyond their usual decline due to oxidation and rot is the huge appeal behind Apeel, a Santa Barbara company whose technology is embraced by foundations fighting hunger worldwide. Founded in 2012 by UC Santa Barbara graduate James Rogers, Apeel already carries $2 billion in value and announced on August 18 a massive new capitalization of $250 million by a number of investors, including pop music diva Katy Perry, Michael Ovitz of Creative Artists Agency, and Mirae Asset Global Investments. The company is saving more than the world with its plant-derived coating; it’s keeping more than 400 Santa Barbarans employed as well.


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