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Agritech startup WayCool raises ₹120 crores from LGT Impact, others

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Chennai-based agritech startup WayCool Foods has raised ₹120 crores ($16.9 million) in a combination of equity and debt funding from LGT Impact, angel investors and institutional debt firms including Caspian and Northern Arc Capital. Veda Corporate Advisors acted as the exclusive financial advisor to the startup.

The startup plans to use the freshly raised capital to scale up its operations across multiple areas in the southern and western India. Furthermore, it will focus on improving its technology platform and reinforcing its supply chain. WayCool Foods will acquire assets and capabilities in sourcing and automating the distribution lines.

Kartik Srivatsa, Managing Partner at Aspada, and an earlier investor in WayCool said, “What impresses us most about WayCool is their execution capability. They have been able to scale rapidly and consistently by leveraging technology to build a high-quality supply chain despite market disturbances.”

Founded by Sanjay Dasari and Karthik Jayaraman in 2015, the startup provides an omnichannel food distribution platform that uses innovative technology to operate a complex supply chain. It distributes fruits and vegetables to small local shops and modern retail outlets.

Karthik added, “We are committed to solving India’s food supply chain problems while making a substantial positive difference to the farmers and consumers. 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 quality, mature business at scale by carefully calibrating the stage of the business to the funding needs.”

In Chennai, the startup operates retail stores and mobile stores on trucks under the brand name ‘SunnyBee’. Additionally, the startup manufactures a number of private label products through a partnership with sister companies. WayCool Foods has annual revenue of ₹250 crores ($35.2 million) and has witnessed 20 times expansion since 2017.

The startup has raised a total of ₹137.2 crores ($19.6 million) in 2 funding rounds. Earlier in March 2017, WayCool Foods raised ₹18.9 crores ($2.7million) in a venture round from Aspada. The startup competes with other players like Ninjacart, Vegfru, Lemon Leaf, CropIn, Crofarm and DayBox.

Ninjacart recently raised ₹250 crores ($35.17 million) in Series B funding round from Accel US, Jo Hirao, Founder of ZIGExN, HR Capital, Neoplux, Syngenta Ventures and Trifecta Capital. CropIn also raised ₹57 crores ($8.1 million) from Chiratae Ventures in series B round of funding in November 2018.

The food and grocery market in India stands at sixth position in the world. Retail sales contribute around 70 per cent to the market.

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