Social commerce platform, Meesho, has acquired $300 million in new funding led by Softbank Vision Fund 2. The new investment has taken Meesho’s valuation to $2.1 billion. The round also witnessed participation from existing investors Shunwei Capital, Venture Highway, Facebook, Prosus Ventures, and Knollwood Investment.
With this funding, Meesho intends to create a single digital ecosystem for 100 million small businesses, and recruit the best talent in the industry.
Speaking about the development, Vidit Aatrey, co-founder and CEO of Meesho, stated in a press statement released by the company, “We are focused on expanding our vision — from helping aspiring women entrepreneurs to creating Meesho as a single ecosystem that will enable all small businesses in India to succeed online. In the last year, we have seen tremendous growth across small businesses and entrepreneurs seeking to move their businesses online. And with our new vision, we will enable 100 million small businesses to start, succeed and lead their operations online with Meesho as their partner in their journey.”
The small businesses Meesho is targeting involve individual businesses owned and managed by women entrepreneurs and homepreneurs who have become financially independent and successful over the years by Meesho, and have created an identity for themselves.
The new unicorn now plans to simplify e-commerce for all small businesses in India. The company said that it will help the company to develop a platform that is pro-small businesses with policies and tools to assist even the smallest of sellers to list and do business on Meesho.
Munish Varma, Managing Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers, stated, “Globally, SoftBank has always been excited to back founders that provide unique solutions for the local market. 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.”
Meesho will also utilize the freshly raised funds to enhance its talent pool across verticals — tech, product, and business, among others. The startup said in the last six years it has facilitated over 13 million individual entrepreneurs to start their own online business without any investment.
It stated that it has delivered orders from 100,000 registered suppliers to over 26,000 pin codes in more than 4,800 cities, making more than 500 crore in income for individual entrepreneurs and serving customers in over 4,500 Tier-II cities.
Sumer Juneja, Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers, said, “We have been closely tracking Meesho for the last 18 months and have been impressed by its 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 a personalized experience to consumers.”
Commenting on the investment, Shishir Gupta, Founder and CEO of StartupLanes said, “The pandemic has pushed many small businesses to move their operations online and Meesho has empowered several women across the country by providing them financial independence. I congratulate the entire team at Meesho for the new development and for becoming the latest member of the Indian unicorn club.”
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