Goleta-based Apeel Sciences will lay off an unspecified amount of workers and downsize its operations after years of continued growth that took it past a valuation of $2 billion in its last funding round.
In a statement provided to the Business Times on July 11, an Apeel spokesperson said the company is “working tirelessly to support those impacted during their transition.”
“Over the past 30 months of commercialization, we’ve gained valuable insight into how to best deliver plant-based protection to suppliers, retailers, and consumers and have determined that there are areas of our business where we have the opportunity to operate more effectively,” the company’s statement read. “We have made the difficult decision to streamline our operations in these areas to best position us to accomplish our mission to reduce food waste by sustaining our business long into the future.”
The employees subject to layoffs were notified July 11, Apeel said, “and in most cases the changes will be effective immediately.”
The company’s statement said it was not required to notify the state of California about the layoffs through a notice filed under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. The WARN Act requires companies to file a notice if they are laying off more than 50 employees in California, or shutting down an entire facility.
Jason De Turris, Senior Vice President, told the Business Times via email that the majority of those impacted were based outside of California and were spread across several departments.
Apeel had around 450 employees globally as of Feb. 25 but did not disclose how many were based in the Goleta office or elsewhere in California.
“Rightsizing our business means that we will be reducing our workforce in certain areas, but we will continue to invest in others. We have spent the last 18 months listening to our partners in the food system, learning from over 200+ customer engagements, and iterating our go-to-market strategy based on these learnings,” De Turris said.
Apeel said the employees who were laid off received severance packages, job placement support and other benefits.