Mumbai: WayCool Foods and Products Pvt. Ltd, which supplies food and agricultural produce, has raised ₹120 crore in equity and debt from impact investors such as UK-based LGT Impact Ventures, Caspian Impact Investment Advisor Pvt. Ltd and Northern Arc Capital Ltd. Some angel investors also participated in the round, the Chennai-based company said in a statement on Tuesday.
WayCool runs a tech-enabled supply chain platform supplying fresh produce, staples and dairy to more than 4,000 clients. The fundraise comes at a time when agriculture and food related startups are raising bigger rounds as they seek to use the latest technology and tap bigger user bases. In the last five years, these startups have raised $1.66 billion across 558 deals, according to a report by AgFunder, a US-based farm investor, and agri-tech-focused investor Omnivore. These startups have attracted funding from investors, including consumer funds, large multinational tech companies and generalist venture capital firms.
Founded in 2015 by Karthik Jayaraman and Sanjay Dasari, WayCool aims to use the funds to expand operations across southern and western India, bolster its technology platform and reinforce its supply chain.
“We had committed to open and operate three locations after our last institutional fundraise-we are currently operating in 13 locations. WayCool takes pride in the fact that over 70% of our tonnage is sourced directly from farmers and farming partners, with 100% of payments made digitally in 3-5 days, substantially enhancing the farmer's return on capital employed,” said Dasari.
WayCool's clients include handset maker Nokia, computer maker Dell and startups like food delivery app Swiggy, according to its website.
“They have been able to scale rapidly and consistently by leveraging technology to build a high-quality supply chain despite market disturbances. The company has scaled 20x since the last round of funding with judicious use of capital,” said Kartik Srivatsa, managing partner at Aspada, an early investor in WayCool and an early stage venture fund.
WayCool claims to be one of India's largest food development and distribution companies working with nearly 50,000 farmers, moving 150 tonnes of products per day across 13 cities and employs about 800 people.
“As we continue scaling across product segments, geographies, and business lines, we will continue to raise funds but at the same time remain capital efficient and achieve a quality, mature business at scale by carefully calibrating the stage of the business to the funding needs,” said co-founder Jayaraman.