Meesho said on Monday that it has raised $300 million in a new round of financing led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 because the Indian social commerce startup is striving to become “a single ecosystem that enables all small businesses to succeed online.” .
The new round of financing (Series E) puts the five-year-old startup company at a valuation of US$2.1 billion, higher than the approximately US$600 million to US$700 million in the D-round financing in 2019. To date, this Indian startup has raised approximately US$490 million. The company said that existing investors Facebook, Prosus Ventures, Shunwei Capital, Venture Highway and Knollwood Investment also participated in the new round of financing.
This transaction seems to be Sunway Investment̵
Bengaluru-based Meesho operates an online marketplace of the same name, which connects sellers with customers on social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram. Its products include order management, logistics management, online payment, real-time store updates, and allow companies to attract their customers to subscribe.
The startup claims to have a network of more than 13 million entrepreneurs, most of them women, and more than 100,000 suppliers in nearly 5,000 Indian cities and towns. These markets deal mainly with groceries, clothing, household appliances and electronics.
Meesho said it will use new funds to help 100 million individuals and small businesses in the country conduct online sales. Vidit Aatrey, Meesho co-founder and CEO, said in a statement: “In the past year, small businesses and entrepreneurs seeking to move their businesses online have achieved tremendous growth.”
As Covid prompted New Delhi to issue a months-long lockdown, Meesho launched Farmiso, a product that allows anyone to open an online grocery store online without any investment. Aatrey said on Monday that Farmiso has become Meesho’s fastest growing business. (Before the pandemic, Meesho also began to expand in Southeast Asia, but has scaled back these efforts in recent months.)
“In the past 18 months, we have been closely following Meesho. Their growth, daily participation, attention to unit economy and ability to build a strong team have left a deep impression on us. We believe that Meesho is small and medium Corporate suppliers and social distributors provide an effective platform to participate in the e-commerce revolution in India and help them provide consumers with a personalized experience.
UBS (UBS) analysts pointed out in a recent report that social commerce and business-to-business markets are potential sources of competition with e-commerce companies such as Amazon and Flipkart in India.
Social e-commerce is an important bet to undertake modern e-commerce. Although Amazon and Flipkart have invested billions of dollars, it has been difficult for modern e-commerce to break into India. Another bet is to digitize the neighbourhood shops in the country without too many social elements, which are spread across thousands of towns, cities and villages in India. Both global giants Facebook and Google support these two companies.
“Globally, SoftBank has always been happy to support founders who provide unique solutions for the local market. By leveraging the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning, Meesho has created a platform for many small business owners to sell to the next batch of Internet Users. We look forward to being a part of this journey.” Munish Varma, managing partner of SoftBank Investment Advisers, said in a statement.