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Agri-commerce startup WayCool looking to become Rs 6,000-cr entity by FY25

Agri-commerce startup WayCool looking to become Rs 6,000-cr entity by FY25


Agri-commerce startup WayCool looking to become Rs 6,000-cr entity by FY25

IFC-backed agri-commerce startup WayCool Foods is looking to become a Rs 6,000-crore entity by FY25, up from Rs 2,000 crore in FY23, driven by its fast-growing food products vertical.

Chennai-based WayCool was founded by auto industry veteran Karthik Jayaraman and Sanjay Dasari, the son of the ex-head of Ashok Leyland Vinod Dasari in 2015. It was founded as a social enterprise and agri-tech company. Later it diversified into agri-products with a slew of ready-to-cook and other packaged food brands such as Madhuram, Dezi Fresh, Lexotique, Kitchenji, and Freshey’s. These brands have fetched around 25 per cent of its Rs 2,000 crore revenue in FY23, up from 10 per cent in the previous fiscal, it was Rs 1,000 crore.

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Jayaraman, the cofounder and managing director, expects this to scale to 35-40 per cent by FY25, when the company targets to log in Rs 6,000 crore turnover. “We closed FY23 with Rs 2,000 crore of topline. Of this, as much as 25 per cent came from the branded products and third-party distribution fees (for FMCG major like HUL, ITC and Nestle among others), and we hope this segment grows faster and fetch us 35-40 per cent of the targeted income of Rs 6,000 crore by FY25,” Jayaraman told PTI in an interview. He noted that future revenue will be driven more by products and not commodities sourcing/trading which has been its mainstay so far.

On profitability, Jayaraman said, the company is cash-positive now and hopes to turn in net profit by FY25, when it also has plans to go public. But he was quick to note that taking the firm public is dependent on meeting these revenue and profitability targets along with certain other operational metrics. The company trades in almost all agri commodities along with some fruits and vegetables, which it sources directly from farmers at market prices. Soon it will begin to source more fruits & vegetables, grains, staples, diary and dry-fruits, he said. Its brands reach out to over 60,000 retailers in the South, while farmer engagement has over 85,000 of them in its supply chain, he said. Some of them are available on online platforms as well.

WayCool has also entered contract farming of vegetables with a 3.5-acre farm land in Hosur near Bengaluru, and hopes to ramp it up to 500 acres soon, he said. He said the company has so far raised USD 150 million from eight institutional investors including Lightrock, the world bank arm International Finance Corporation, the Netherlands impact fund FMO. The company is present in all the six Southern states and Jayaraman said they have no plans to expand to other geographies, except for those agri items which are not grown in the South. Accordingly, it has tied up with farmers in Maharashtra for potatoes, and for apples and citrus with Himachal growers.

WayCool also has a distribution arm in the UAE, under which it sells around 25 products now and operates 30 warehouses across the Southern states and Maharashtra, with around 3 lakh sqft. WayCool’s R&D arm has developed many farming tools, and has already bagged six patents and 30 patent applications are pending.

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  1. Pingback: Curefoods raises Rs 300 crore funding to accelerate growth

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