Chennai-based WayCool Foods, an agritech startup, has received a grant of $114,000 from the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank FMO. The grant will be used for procurement and distribution of dual-purpose PPE kits and enablement of on-site soil testing to farmers.
The distribution is being carried out under the WayCool’s flagship Outgrow Programme for farmers. Through this unique initiative, the platform claims to benefit 15,000 smallholding farmers across Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, and Maharashtra.
Sendhil Kumar Natarajan, Head-Agri Initiatives, WayCool Foods, said,
“Farmers are essential service providers as they feed the nation. They are also very vulnerable during disruptive events, such as the ongoing pandemic. Our measures have focused on enabling farmers earn their livelihood while reducing the risks they face. The FMO grant will help us in protecting a significantly larger number of farmers and we thank FMO for their timely support.”
Founded in July 2015 by Karthik Jayaraman and Sanjay Dasari, WayCool intends to accelerate its path to profitability and will focus on maintaining, as well as further improving its lean, capital-efficient model.
WayCool has previously raised three rounds of funding from Lightbox, LGT Lightstone Aspada, FMO, Caspian Impact Investment, and Northern Arc Capital Ltd.
Jaap Reinking, Director, Private Equity, FMO said,
“We are proud to offer additional support during this period. India has experienced one of the world’s strictest lockdowns. These measures left little recourse for the country’s millions of farmers, particularly those in the poorest provinces, who were unable to get access to essentials and protective equipment. The initiative’s goal is to find affordable and reliable sources of PPE and ensure these are allocated where they are needed most. Additionally, this grant will be used to procure Soil Testing kits for farmers, which will ultimately improve their income and reduce wastage.”
Based out of Hague, Netherlands, FMO invested in over 85 countries, focusing on emerging markets, supporting jobs and income generation, and improving people’s lives in those parts of the world where this makes the biggest difference.