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Lightbox leads $32 mn funding in fresh-produce distributor Waycool
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Fresh-produce distributor Waycool Foods & Products Pvt. Ltd has raised Rs 227 crore ($32 million) in a combination of equity and debt funding led by venture capital firm Lightbox.

Early backers FMO and LGT Lightstone Aspada also invested in this round, as did venture debt firm InnoVen Capital, the company said in a statement. 

The company said it will use the capital to automate its supply chain and build data analytics required to make its supply chain more efficient. It will also expand its range of value-added products to enterprise and retail customers.

“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,” said Karthik Jayaraman, co-founder of Waycool.

Boutique investment banking firm Veda Capital advised the company on the transaction.

Waycool was founded by Jayaraman, Sanjay Dasari, Vignesh Kumar Manogaran and Sendhil Kumar Natarajan in 2015. The company sells its products under the brand name SunnyBee.

The company distributes a wide range of food products including fresh produce, staples and dairy products. It moves over 250 tonnes of food every day to 8,000 enterprise clients across southern India.

WayCool will also deploy the fresh capital to deepen ‘Outgrow’, its agricultural extension programme. The company had recently announced its first agricultural research station, where it will collaborate with multiple startups to bring the most relevant production technologies to farmers.

Waycool competes locally with the likes of fresh-produce supply chain management startup Freshboxx Ventures and Ooty-based Lawrencedale Agro Processing India Pvt. Ltd.

It had raised its last round of funding from the Dutch development finance company FMO in November last year, and from Zurich-headquartered LGT Impact in early 2019. The company also counts institutional lenders Northern Arc Capital and Caspian Capital as its other investors.

Lightbox had last year backed hyperlocal delivery platform Dunzo, jewellery e-tailer Mellora and customised apparel brand Bombay Shirt Company.

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