On 29.09.21 – Bangalore-based, social commerce unicorn, Meesho announced that it raised USD 4.9 Billion in a Series F round. The startup has doubled its valuation in less than six months, and shown an exponential growth in the ongoing pandemic. 

The round was led by Fidelity and B Capital Group with the participation of Prosus Ventures, Facebook, Good Capital and SoftBank Vision Fund 2. Some of the early investors that Meesho had were Y Combinator, Elevation Capital, Sequoia Capital India.

In April this year, Meesho raised USD 300 Million in a Series E round at a valuation of USD 2.1 Billion.

Words from the Investors – 

“We have evaluated e-commerce opportunities across emerging markets and are excited about Meesho’s focus on strong unit economics and a consumer-first approach,” said Kabir Narang, founding general partner at B Capital Group, in a statement.

“Meesho’s business model has an incredibly compelling value proposition with entrepreneurs, end customers, and suppliers consolidating on one platform. It has rapidly emerged as a leading player in this space. Meesho is now enabling 100 million SMBs across tier 2+ cities, empowering them to sell online, leveraging its digital commerce platform.” added further. 

About Meesho – 

Meesho was initiated by Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal in 2015. The startup operates a three-sided marketplace that connects manufactures, distributors and resellers with customers on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp. The resellers buy listed products from the suppliers to earn commission on each transaction they make. 

Nearly 80% of its sellers are women. From the very beginning the startup aims to aid women to start their own business without any capital. 

“When we started in 2015, what was mostly available online was branded products that were being sold to tier 1 customers,” Aatrey said, adding that mostly smartphones, other electronics items and branded fashion products were popular then. “Everything else was primarily offline.”

“India is primarily an unorganized market; 80 to 85% of the entire retail GDP is unstructured and long-tail and run by small businesses. But what had gone online at the time was the exact opposite of it,”  said.

“Our mission has been to democratize internet commerce for everyone, including consumers, our Meesho entrepreneurs and small businesses. And I think that’s our space: we will continue to focus on small businesses and on the demand side, we will continue to focus on the next billion customers.” he further added.

As of April 2021, 13 Million entrepreneurs and more than 100K suppliers were using Meesho. Although the new figures are still undisclosed by the co-founders, Aatrey said “we have grown 3x since the previous fundraise.” Meesho, which like other e-commerce firms was severely impacted by the first wave of the pandemic last year, has fully recovered.

He added that the startup has become a complete “horizontal player, where customers are buying from every category, including fashion, lifestyle, personal care, electronics and accessories, and automotive.”

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