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March 2, 2020 Business Standard

Waycool raised Series C funding from Lightbox Ventures, FMO & LGT Lightstone

Chennai-based WayCool Foods has raised USD 32 million (about Rs 228 crore) in a combination of equity and debt, led by Lightbox.

The series C round also saw participation of Dutch entrepreneurial development bank FMO and current investor, LGT Lightstone Aspada, a statement said.

The company has also partnered with InnoVen Capital to raise venture debt as part of this round, it added.

Veda Corporate Advisors was the exclusive advisor to the transaction.

WayCool Foods procures, processes and distributes food products including fresh produce, staples and dairy products to 8,000 enterprise clients across southern India. It has a base of nearly 40,000 farmers.

The company said it will use the funds 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 added.

“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,” WayCool co-founder and CEO Karthik Jayaraman said.

He added that FMO’s guidance will be of essence in building a culture of impact orientation across the organization and staying true to the course.

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

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

The company recently announced the set-up of its first Agricultural Research Station, where it will collaborate with multiple start-ups to bring the most relevant production technologies to its expanding farmer base.

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

The company previously raised two rounds of funding from Aspada, LGT Impact Ventures, Caspian Impact Investment, and Northern Arc Capital Ltd.