The Signal: The food-tech sector raised $39B in VC in 2021, more than double what was raised the previous year. Among the firms attracting funding are several startups tackling food waste, from an online store peddling misshapen veggies to an AI digital labeling system that drops the price of produce as it ages. Other VC winners include:

  • Apeel ($640m) — a plant-based protective “peel” that keeps produce fresh for longer
  • Shelf Engine ($58m) — uses AI to predict demand for perishable groceries
  • Too Good to Go ($45m) — an app that lets users buy unsold food from cafes and shops at a discount

The road to the trash is paved with good intentions but it’s easy to forget about a veg drawer full of healthy choices when there are delivery apps catering to our every whim.