Meesho, a Bengaluru-based social commerce platform, has raised $125 million (approx ₹890 crore) in Series D round led by Naspers. While, other investors such as Facebook, SAIF, Sequoia, Shunwei Capital, RPS and Venture Highway, and former Vodafone Group CEO Arun Sarin also participated in the round.
The infused funds will enable the company to make deeper inroads in areas outside India’s major metro regions, by creating more entrepreneurs, and as a result, reaching remote customers not serviced by traditional ecommerce marketplaces.
Vidit Aatrey, co-founder and CEO of Meesho, said, “I am particularly proud that Meesho has cut across gender, education levels, risk appetites, and vocations to create livelihoods for people with no investment of their own. Our social sellers are small retailers, women, students and retired citizens, with 70 percent being homemakers who have found financial freedom and a business identity without having to step outside their homes.”
Meesho was founded by Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal in 2015. It is a mobile-first ecommerce platform for resellers such as housewives who then use channels such as WhatsApp and social media platforms Facebook and Instagram to promote products within their social circles.
It facilitates a three-way marketplace enabling resellers, SMBs, and micro-entrepreneurs across India to connect with potential buyers using social media. The company claims to have more than 15,000 suppliers and 2 million resellers across India.
Its app is available in more than seven local languages other than English, and about 40 percent of its daily usage comes from a non-English speaking audience.
The company said that the latest investment will also strengthen Meesho’s aim to grow its community of women entrepreneurs who have dreamt of running their own businesses but lacked the funds and expertise to do so.
Ashutosh Sharma, Head of India Investments, Naspers Ventures said that the phenomenal growth they are already experiencing shows that Meesho has hit a sweet spot in the market and is well-poised to serve the next 500 million online shoppers in the country.