LightBox leads $32 Mn funding round in WayCool


Agritech startup WayCool Foods has secured $32 million in an equity and debt funding round led by LightBox Ventures. Dutch development bank FMO and existing investor LGT Lightstone Aspada also participated in the round.

The Series C round has kicked off two months after Entrackr had reported in December that the company was in advanced talks of raising a funding round led by LightBox.

With the fresh capital, the Chennai-based firm is looking to automate its supply chain, data analytics, and hire more employees. It will also further build and expand its range of branded products, said the company through a press statement.

The latest investment round for WayCool has come after a year. In January 2019, the company had raised Rs 120 crore in equity and debt from LGT Impact Ventures, Caspian Impact Investment Advisor and Northern Arc Capital. 

Soon after, the company had also bagged nearly $5 million in a Series C round from Lightstone Global Fund last year.

Founded in 2015 by Karthik Jayaraman and Sanjay Dasari, WayCool is a business-to-business startup that connects farmers and food producers with restaurants, hotels, among others. The company claims to use artificial intelligence and machine learning to reduce food wastage and production costs as it fulfils customer requirements.

The company operates across multiple channels and categories like fresh produce, staples, and dairy; helping clients in the trade and food services space. As of June, the company claimed to deliver 200 tons of food products to a network of over 8,000 clients from a base of 35,000 farmers. 

Importantly, WayCool had also started as a B2C venture called SunnyBee where they had launched a chain of stores in Chennai to sell fresh produce. However, they soon pivoted to the B2B model creating a tech-enabled supply chain from farm to fork.

Amidst the growth expansion, startups in the agritech and B2B e-commerce space have been gaining investor attention over the past year. WayCool competes with the likes of NinjaCart and Udaan, among several others. 

Last month, NinjaCart had also received Rs 71.83 crore ($10 million) in a Series C funding round led by Flipkart India and Singapore-based GEC3.

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