In this day and age, healthy eating has gained an enormous amount of popularity. We also live in the internet era, where buying fresh healthy produce doesn’t necessarily translate into going down to the store to get it. Logically, this would mean the rise of an organization in order to meet this need. WayCool is a fresh produce distribution startup and they’ve gotten $2.7 million from venture capital firm Aspada Investments.
Kushal Agrawal, a partner at Aspada Investments, says that structural challenges in India’s fresh produce supply chain comprises of multiple intermediaries, leading to significant wastage of food, lower prices for the farmer and poor quality produce being sold at relatively high prices. This is something that WayCool wants to change.
The Chennai based company plans to use the funds in order to build technological upgrades which would reduce inefficiencies in the supply chain and augment WayCool’s existing infrastructure in addition to expanding to Bengaluru and Hyderabad.
Karthik Jayaraman, cofounder of Waycool, stated that they are basically a supply-chain company that connects fresh produce from the farm to the consumers. Their customers are primarily business-to-business clients, such as hotels, restaurants, and caterers. WayCool sources fruits and vegetables from farmers and aggregators. It focuses on optimising sourcing and transportation of fresh produce across distribution channels. The startup, which has a team of 100 employees, said it processed 350 tonnes of produce in March.
Technology plays a large role in their analytics as it helps them to have a shorter response rate. One of the major problems WayCool faces is that of logistics. The value reduction of the produce from the farm to the consumer could be pegged at 40-45%. Since the produce is rehandled at least three times, 10% of the produce is lost in the process, which can result in the logistics cost being as high as the produce cost. Once they find a way to deal with this challenge, it should be cool running from then on.