meesho funding: Meesho raises $300 million from SoftBank Vision Fund as valuation races past $2 billion

Facebook-backed Meesho has raised $300 million in a new round of funding led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, catapulting the social commerce startup valuation to $2.1 billion.

ET first
reported the details of the deal on February 13.

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The company’s latest capital raising exercise has almost trebled its valuation compared to when it
raised $125 million in 2019. At the time Meesho was valued at around $700 million. This makes it the fourth domestic startup this year to enter the coveted unicorn club, comprising private firms valued at $1 billion or more. Other which have joined the top league in 2021 include insurance tech platform Digit, Innovaccer, a health tech platform and, an online marketplace for construction material.

Meesho’s financing round also saw participation from existing investors Prosus Ventures, Facebook, Shunwei Capital, Venture Highway and Knollwood Investment, the company said in a statement on Monday.

“We are focused on expanding our vision from focusing on enabling aspiring women entrepreneurs to creating Meesho as a single ecosystem that will enable all small businesses to succeed online,” said Vidit Aatrey, founder and CEO at Meesho. “In the last one year, we have seen tremendous growth across small businesses and entrepreneurs seeking to move their businesses online.”

Meesho said it aims to enable 100 million small businesses and entrepreneurs digitise their businesses as it expands the scope of its business, while investing heavily in hiring and growing its team across technology, product and business functions among others.

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By entering the space to digitise and service India’s SMBs, Meesho will go up against giants such as Reliance Industries, Amazon, Flipkart and others who are vying for a chunk of this lucrative, untapped market. While these firms are eyeing profits by removing layers of inefficiency in distribution, they also want to use small businesses to reach customers, especially in smaller towns.

On the other hand, Meesho is also facing growing competition from newer entrants in the social commerce space like Dealshare, Glowroad, Shop101 and Kiko TV, all of whom help sellers reach customers through social networks while putting them in touch with suppliers and providing other services required for e-tailing in India.

“We have been closely tracking Meesho for the last 18 months and have been impressed by their growth, daily engagement metrics, focus on unit economics and ability to create a strong team. We believe Meesho provides an efficient platform for SME suppliers and social resellers to onboard the e-commerce revolution in India and help them provide personalized experience to consumers,” said Sumer Juneja, partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers.

Meesho claims that it has enabled 13 million entrepreneurs being selling online through its platform and has a base of 32 million customers in the country. It added that it has onboarded over 65,000 suppliers that sell more than five million products, and has generated Rs 500 crore in income for entrepreneurs using its platform.

Munish Varma, managing partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers, said, “By using the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning, Meesho has created a platform for many small business owners to sell to the next cohort of internet users. We look forward to being a part of this journey.

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The company added that it has delivered orders to 26,000 pin codes in more than 4800 cities, with an overwhelming majority of those being Tier II cities.


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