India: Meesho raises $570m led by Fidelity, B Capital, valuation doubles to $4.9b

Meesho co-founders Sanjeev Barnwal (left) and Vidit Aatrey. Photo: Mint

Social commerce platform Meesho on Thursday said it has raised $570 million led by Fidelity Management & Research Company and Facebook, Inc. co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s B Capital Group. In five months since the last round of funding, Meesho recorded 2.5x growth in order volume.

Existing investors Prosus Ventures, SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Facebook also participated in this round. Some of the other new investors include Footpath Ventures, Trifecta Capital and Good Capital.

In April, Meesho became a unicorn after it raised $300 million led by Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp. The fund-raise then valued Meesho at $2.1 billion, a threefold jump from its previous funding round of $125 million in 2019 when it was valued at $700 million.

With the new round of funding, Vidit Aatrey, CEO of Meesho said, the company will double down on product and tech capabilities.

“Our focus will be on India, so we will continue to invest, to go deeper into the country, and find more people to come and sell on the platform. We plan to triple our tech and product team over the next 12 to 18 months. Our broad goal is to get 100 million monthly transacting customers on our platform by end of next year. At the beginning of this year, we started our grocery vertical, and we plan to double down significantly and grow this aggressively,” Aatrey said in an interview.

Since the last round of funding in April, Meesho said it has raised its order volume 2.5X times and added new product categories to its roster including sports and fitness, pet supplies, and automotive accessories.

“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. We are excited to partner with Meesho and its exceptional team that is democratizing e-commerce for a billion internet users across the country. Meesho’s business model has an incredibly compelling value proposition with entrepreneurs, end customers, and suppliers consolidating on one platform,” said Kabir Narang, founding general partner at B Capital Group.

Aatrey said the focus of the company is growth and expansion.

“It’s an amazing thing that mature companies went public in India and abroad. It’s a strong validation to the entire ecosystem. I don’t think we plan do an IPO anytime soon, because we are just focused on growth right now. We believe we will be very opportunistic about it, so whenever is the right time, when we feel we are ready for that, we will do it, but not anytime soon,” he said. “”We are in the growth phase; overall profitability is not the biggest priority for us. But the day we want to, we can overall as a company become profitable But right now, the room for growth is so much that it makes no sense for us to just go and become profitable”.

Meesho’s latest fundraise also comes at a time when it is battling a spate of fraudulent and unconsented orders on its platform. Aatrey recently said that the company has implemented a number of steps, including the appointment of consultant Deloitte, to conduct a forensic audit and investigate the issue.

“We now have stronger policies, but we are not getting complacent and are very focused on making sure that at all points of time, no person is mistreated by any user on the platform. One thing I would like to admit is, that is important to us to make sure we build the right platform where we are doing the right thing for everyone,” Aatrey said.

This article was first published on livemint.com

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.