Private equity-backed B2B food and agritech platform WayCool Foods & Products Pvt. Ltd has raised Rs 50 crore (around $6.5 million) from venture debt firm Stride Ventures as part of its debt funding round, it said on Thursday.
With this round, Stride Ventures looks to expand its portfolio of new-age Indian startups who are working in different sectors, the company said.
“WayCool aims to build the world's largest food development and distribution services company and positively impact the lives of 150,000 farmers. The company is supported by best-in-class investors and a remarkable team who are building the future of the Indian food economy,” said Apoorva Sharma, partner, Stride Ventures.
The debt funding comes on the back of WayCool raising $40 million from US-based alternative investment firm 57 Stars Global Innovation Fund. This was the second round of funding this year for the Chennai-based startup. In January, WayCool closed its Series D round to raise $117 million from LightRock, LightBox, FMO, Lightsmith, World Bank Group’s private investment arm International Finance Corporation (IFC), Redwood Equity and Gawa Capital.
WayCool was founded in 2015 by Karthik Jayaraman, Sanjay Dasari, Vignesh Kumar Manogaran and Sendhil Kumar Natarajan. The startup distributes a wide range of directly-sourced fresh produce. It works with more than 150,000 farmers and operates a full-stack product range across multiple channels, to 100,000 clients, the company said.
In February 2021, the company raised Rs 227 crore in a combination of equity and debt funding led by VC firm Lightbox. Early backers FMO and LGT Lightstone Aspada had also invested in that round. In December of 2019, it raised Rs 57 crore in a structured debt-funding round from non-banking financial company (NBFC) Samunnati, RBL Bank, and venture debt firm InnoVen Capital.
Several tech startups focused on agriculture have attracted funding in the past year. Some of these include Ninjacart pocketing $145 million from Walmart, DeHaat raising $115 million, Absolute bagging $100 million, AgroStar at $70 million, Arya.ag raising $60 million, AgNext and Animall also raising funds recently.
Stride Ventures is a venture-debt fund which has sanctioned over Rs 1600 crore in over 66 companies across consumer, fintech, logistics, agritech, B2B commerce, healthtech, B2B SaaS (software as a service), mobility and energy solutions.