Chennai-based agri-commerce start-up WayCool Foods has raised $117 million in Series D round of funding from new and existing investors such as LightRock, LightBox, FMO, Lightsmith, World Bank Group’s IFC, Redwood Equity Partners and Gawa Capital.
WayCool will use the fresh capital to accelerate deep-tech automation in its quest to build the world’s most comprehensive food and agri platform. It has also chalked out plans to strengthen its footprint in western India and West Asia, a company statement said.
As part of the Series D round, WayCool raised $95 million as equity and $22 million as debt. The company has raised $46 million so far in the last three rounds.
Karthik Jayaraman, CEO & co-founder, WayCool Foods, said: “We have raised a total of $117 million as part of our Series D as combination of equity (80%) and debt (20%). We are happy to have brought on board like-minded partners who understand the nuances of this sector and are committed to not just our growth, but more importantly our purpose. The deployment of funds has begun already. Our first priority would be to deepen and widen our technology and automation, in our quest to build the most comprehensive food and agri platform in the world.”
WayCool has begun building its next-gen technology centre in Bengaluru, which will build out the tech platform and add layers of AI and analytics. The tech centre will also incorporate labs for robotics, IoT and automation. WayCool also plans to add new food categories to its platform and strengthen its private labels, particularly in value-added food products.
“We will also deploy the funds to deepen our footprint in our target geographies, adding up to 50 more distribution points over the next 18 months. Finally, we will be investing to create a keiretsu of businesses, which bring complementary capabilities and are aligned to our purpose,” Jayaraman said.
WayCool has a wide product range across multiple channels and categories such as fresh produce, staples, and dairy, serving over 1 lakh clients in the general trade, modern trade, e-commerce, and food services space. It caters to over 500 locations in southern and western India.