ImpactAlpha, February 11 – Chennai-based WayCool got its start in 2015 to improve farmer livelihoods in and around Chennai by connecting them directly to retailers and other buyers. Today the company handles more than 300 tons of fresh fruit, vegetables and other products supplied by 40,000 smallholder farmers daily.
WayCool’s complete “soil to sale” model involves sourcing, processing, branding, marketing and all of the pick-up and delivery logistics in between, cutting out middle men along India’s fragmented food chain who knock down farmers’ incomes.
The company has secured $32 million in Series C equity funding to usher in its next phase of growth, which includes building out its tech platform, expanding its agricultural extension services for farmers, and building an agricultural research center.
Mumbai-based venture capital firm Lightbox led the company’s $32 million Series C round, while prior investors LGT Lightstone and Dutch development finance institution FMO re-upped their support from WayCool’s $16.9 million equity round last January.
A number of India’s startups are leveraging tech to connect farmers more directly to markets and customers. TechnifyBiz raised $2 million in January to give farming cooperatives a productivity boost and help them sell their products online. Aibono raised a small Series A round last year to use predictive data to help farmers sell their products.