Chennai-based agri-tech start-up WayCool has inked a two-year partnership with farm management Internet of Things (IOT) platform Gramworkx. The agreement will see WayCool and GramworkX integrate their respective tech platforms in order to automate farming processes and optimise output. WayCool will pay Gramworkx a total of $2 million to acquire its IP and scale it up.
The companies made the announcement at Food for Future Summit in Dubai on the sidelines of Expo 2020. “At present, our weather information comes from solutions like open weather maps and met data,” Karthik Jayaraman, Co-Founder and CEO, Gramworkx, told CNBC-TV18 at the summit.
“Gramworkx has an IOT device built in India, which captures precise information, which in turn can provide instructions on fertigation to automate the process and make it autonomous,” he said, adding that the tool can monitor parameters like soil conditions and instruction the fertigation system to start operations, often at times where power is available only in odd hours.
The integration means that WayCool’s technology now works better for high-precision and high-value crops since an autonomous farming IOT system ensures timely irrigation and fertigtion. “We first invested to acquire the tech, IPR and the Gramworkx team, which will join us,” said Jayaraman, “We are now investing another million to scale it up and make the tech more robust.”
‘FY 22 revenue to cross Rs 1,000 crore’
WayCool has announced that it will cross Rs 1,000 crore in revenue this year. “We have already crossed Rs 850 crore, and are confident of crossing this mark in the days to come,” said Jayaraman. The company recently closed its latest round of funding — a total of $1117 million, of which $95 million is in equity.
“This money should be good enough for us to continue for the next 18 to 22 months,” Jayaraman added, “We will start work on our next cycle in the next few weeks as we have long gestation periods and expect that to continue.”
The company has earmarked $25 million to invest in technology and automation over the next 12 months: “We have already pushed our existing automation to the next level and have automated packaging of fresh produce, which is challenging since it is an irregularly sized commodity.”
WayCool will begin working on completely automating its dry-grocery supply chain. The company is also foraying into segments like value-added foods and products like curd, which have begun seeing commendable traction as they make appearances on store shelves.
WayCool has already announced plans to list publicly by FY25 and claims it is on track to achieve the target within the time frame.