Fresh produce distribution startup WayCool has raised $117 Mn in a Series D funding round, beating DeHaat’s $115 Mn Series D round to become India’s biggest agritech funding round so far.
LightRock, LightBox, FMO, Lightsmith, IFC, Redwood Equity Partners and Gawa Capital participated in the round that we first reported in an Inc42 exclusive last week.
Founded in 2015 by Karthik Jayaraman and Sanjay Dasari, WayCool is an omnichannel fresh produce startup that distributes farm-sourced fruits, vegetables and other products to different retail outlets. According to its website, the agritech startup operates more than 27 distribution centres across the South and has more than 16,500 clients.
It currently handles over 350 tonnes of food products daily with a network of over 50k farmers across more than 50 geographical regions in the country. A bulk of its produce are staples like rice, pulses, wheat, flour and dairy products.
Mumbai-based Lightbox had already invested $15.4 Mn in WayCool’s ongoing round, taking the total infused to $35.4 Mn in this startup, by the firm. Other startups in Lightbox’s portfolio include Dunzo and IPO-bound Droom.
Almost a year ago, WayCool had raised $7.8 Mn in debt funding from Samunnati, RBL Bank and InnoVen Capital. The startup intended to use the debt funding to meet working capital needs and boost automation in existing distribution centres and warehouses.
India has a $370 Bn agricultural sector employing over 40% of its population and contributing 19.9% to our GDP. Despite the importance of the sector, it remains burdened by structural weaknesses that inhibit productivity. This leaves the Indian agricultural sector in dire need of technology-aided modernisation.
There are more than 1,300 agritech startups in the country that employ artificial intelligence, machine learning, internet of things (IoT) etc. to solve sector specific challenges.
Last week on the same day we broke this exclusive story of Agri-input startup Agrostar raising $70 Mn in Series D funding from Evolvence, global asset manager Schroders Capital, Hero Enterprise, and the United Kingdom’s development finance institution CDC.
Existing Investors including Aavishkaar Capital, Accel, Bertelsmann, Chiratae Ventures, and Rabo Frontier Ventures also participated in Agrostar’s Series D funding round.