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The solar industry is consolidating fast…

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In Your Inbox: Apeel Sciences raises $30M; Panelclaw get’s acquired and the state of the solar industry

🚀 STARTUPS & TECH

An Apeeling Raise

Finding ways to extend shelf life of organics reduces food waste. (Image: Apeel Sciences)

Apeel Sciences announced $30M in new funding, in addition to its $250M raise earlier this year. Apeel Sciences develops plant-derived shelf life extension technology for fresh produce that improves quality and reduces food waste.

Why does this matter?

  • According to the UN FAO, over 40% of fresh produce goes to waste.
  • More than 50% of the global fruit supply is produced by smallholder farmers managing up to 5 hectares. However, many smallholder farmers suffer from hunger and extreme poverty.
  • Farmers often struggle to get their produce to a marketplace before it. Not only is there food loss because of access to cold chain logistics, but this is also a financial less that leads to poverty.
  • Apeel is addressing this problem by using plant-based materials to create a protective layer that seals moisture in and keeps oxygen out. As a result:
    • Produce has a longer shelf life and stays fresh longer.
    • Less produce goes to waste throughout the supply chain.
  • Today, Apeel produce is available nationwide in the US, Germany and other countries across Europe, leading to a 50% reduction of food waste in supermarkets.


What’s next?

  • Apeel’s technology will improve the lives of farmers and transform the current food system.
  • The new funding will help smallhold farmers who suffer from food waste and insecurity extend crop shelf life and gain access to new markets. The initial markets will include: Mexico, Costa Rica, Peru, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda and Vietnam.
  • Apeel’s technology will also be used to improve supply chains and reduce food loss without the use of refrigeration, while increasing access to nutrition and improving domestic economic opportunities for farmers and consumers.
  • Using Apeel’s technology will help fight climate change by reducing emissions from food waste and transportation needs, as well as eliminating the need for single-use plastic packaging.


Thoughts

Apeel Sciences is working on an innovative product with real impact.

Implementing their technology will have both social and environmental impacts. The lingering question is how easy is it to implement their technology and what the economics look like for the farmer, which comes down to implementation costs and the additional sales farmers will be able to make.

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🚀 STARTUPS & TECH

PanelClaw acquired by Esdec

Solar installation has matured to a point where consolidation is the focus. (Image: SPI)

As reported by PV Magazine – PanelClaw one of the remaining few independent solar racking companies in the industry globally has reportedly been acquired by Esdec.

Esdec has made a series of acquisitions in a rapidly consolidating solar industry.

Why does it matter?

  • Rapid consolidation means that the industry has matured to a point where firms are realizing the space has been commoditized
  • We see this happening in solar panel manufacturing with groups like Sunpower selling off their panel manufacturing business
  • Software/energy management solutions are also being aggregating by PE firms and the like showing that the industry as a whole has matured

What’s next?

  • We are likely going to see the acceleration of infrastructure adapting to take maximum advantage of solar assets on the grid
  • This gives opportunity to energy storage providers to being to grow as solar/renewables as a whole have begun to saturate the grid in states like California
  • This likely will drive the emergence of microgrid deployments yielding enhanced reliability grid wide
  • Financing and infrastructure management will be the big focus for the next 10 years of the solar niche within the energy industry

Thoughts

As a whole the solar industry has come a long way in the market to have gotten to the stage where the main focus is figuring out how to funnel additional capital into new projects.

The future for this industry is going to be predicated on their ability to maintain this level of growth going forward. Esdec buying Panelclaw is just a testament to the speed at which consolidation is happening – which will yield some massive giants taking advantage of solar infrastructure deployments over the next 10 years.

If you want to track the solar industry growth, track the acquisitions of old solar farms as they are being sold to large PE firms looking to deploy billions into the market over the next 10 years.

 

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