Lightbox leads $32m funding in Indian agtech startup WayCool Foods

Photo by Sven Scheuermeier on Unsplash

Chennai-based agtech startup WayCool Foods Pvt Ltd Thursday announced that it has raised $32 million in a combination of equity and debt funding led by venture capital firm Lightbox.

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, it said in a statement.

The latest financing comes almost a year after WayCool raised about $17 million (Rs 120 crore) in equity and debt funding from LGT Impact, prominent angels, and institutional lenders, including Northern Arc Capital and Caspian.

The company said, it will use the corpus raised to automate its supply chain and build the next layer of data analytics required to strengthen supply chain efficiency. It will also develop and expand its range of value-added products to enterprise and retail customers. It currently owns brands including, Freshey’s, Kitchenji, Madhuram and Shuddha.

“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.

Set up in July 2015 by Jayaraman and Sanjay Dasari, 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. It also engages with a base of nearly 40,000 farmers to improve farm income, while bringing efficiency through its direct supply chain model.

The company also 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. It will also deploy its funds to deepen and widen ‘Outgrow’, its agricultural extension program, the statement said.

Linda Broekhuizen, Chief Investment Officer at FMO, said, “This is FMO’s first agri tech deal under the new Ventures Program, which focuses on fintech, off-grid energy, and agritech. We look forward to supporting the company to become the largest and most impactful food logistics & distribution company of India.”

Veda Corporate Advisors was the exclusive advisor to the latest transaction.

 

Singapore Reporter/s

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.