Indian agtech startup WayCool Foods raises US$32m in funding

INDIA – WayCool Foods, an Indian agtech startup, has raised US$32 million in funding to enable the startup automate its supply chain and build the next layer of data analytics required to strengthen efficiency in the supply chain.

WayCool Foods procures, processes and distributes a wide range of food products, including fresh produce, staples and dairy products, moving over 250 tonnes of food every day to 8,000 enterprise-clients across southern India.

WayCool is currently developing a range of branded products and currently has brands such as Freshey’s, Kitchenji, Madhuram, and Shuddha. 

With the funding, the five-year-old company has also unveiled plans of developing and expanding its range of value-added products for enterprise and retail customers.

The startup, which raised the capital in a combination of equity and debt funding led by venture capital firm Lightbox, said that it will also deploy its funds to deepen and widen its agricultural extension programme.

The Series C round also saw participation of FMO, the Dutch development bank, as well as its current investor LGT Lightstone Aspada. The company has also partnered with InnoVen Capital to raise venture debt as part of this round.

Prashant Mehta, Partner at Lightbox, said: “We’re thrilled with the achievement and the focus WayCool has on leveraging technology to solve the massive challenges in the food supply chain.

“We look forward to working with them and positively impacting the livelihood of farmers and build a long-term sustainable business.

WayCool intends to accelerate its path to profitability and will focus on maintaining as well as further improving its lean, capital-efficient model.

“We are committed to building a lean, efficient and profitable enterprise that makes social impact an integral part of its operations.

“Lightbox’s deep experience in technology and brand building will greatly help us as we strengthen our digital backbone, and our move into value-added products,” karthik Jayaraman, Co-Founder and CEO, WayCool said.

WayCool had recently announced the set up of its first Agricultural Research Station, where it will collaborate with multiple startups to bring the most relevant production technologies to its expanding farmer base. 

The latest financing comes almost a year after the startup raised about US$17m in equity and debt funding from LGT Impact, prominent angels, and institutional lenders, including Northern Arc Capital and Caspian.

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