Food agri-tech start-up WayCool Foods & Products Pvt Ltd is expected to break even in FY24. The company posted revenue of ₹1,008 crore in FY22 and fully recovered its variable cost. It expects to recover most of its sales and fixed costs in FY23 and break-even the next year when its revenues touch ₹4,000 crore. “We aim to come out with the IPO in FY25 after a full year of profit,” said Karthik Jayaraman, Co-founder and Managing Director, WayCool Foods. He expects the company to become profitable without compromising on growth. “We will double our revenues in FY23,” he added.

The company, which claims to have the most comprehensive tech stack in the food economy, works with over 200,000 farmers and 50,000 plus retailers across the southern States and Maharashtra. Its 25 collection centres across the region procure fresh produce (fruits & vegetables), grains and staples (pulses, wheat, paddy, spices, wheat, sugar, jaggery etc) and dairy. It has 22 processing units to process them. The milk is converted into ghee, curd or paneer. The rest are re-packed and sold to 50,000 plus retailers through 50 distribution centres. By working closely with the entire supply chain – farmer to retailer, it hopes to improve farmers’ earnings, reduce wastage (between farm to retailer) and help retailers sell more. The company, Jayaraman, says it uses technology to do this.

Algorithms to predict crops demand

WayCool has developed algorithms to predict crop demand with 80 per cent accuracy. This, it uses, to place orders with farmers. Thanks to Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning and deep learning, it has developed tools to understand consumption patterns in each area based on socio-economic and other factors it uses to advise retails for stocking goods. A shop in the Electronic City area of Bengaluru will do well to stock HMT variety of rice instead of Sona Masoori as there is a large pool of Telugu population preferring the former, Jayaraman said. Such insights help the retailers. It filed for 25 patents (process and design) in FY22 and is expected to file another 50 this fiscal year.

Automated warehouses

The company has raised $150 million through multiple fund rounds and has spent 50 per cent of the amount on setting up automated warehouses and acquisitions (it has made six acquisitions so far). It expects to grow aggressively. More acquisitions are planned in the distribution and supply-chain space, revealed Jayaraman.

The bulk of the investments, going forward, will be to set up warehouses, product development (it has recently set up a product development centre in Bengaluru), re-packing centres and technology. “We will do at least couple of more fund raises before the IPO,” he added. The company completed seven years of operation on July 7.