India’s Meesho raises $300m led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, valuation trebles to $2.1b

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

Social commerce platform Meesho said it has raised $300 million in a new funding round led by Japan’s SoftBank Vision Fund 2. The fresh funding has almost trebled the valuation of the Bengaluru-based startup to $2.1 billion from around $700 million in 2019.

Existing investors Prosus Ventures, Facebook Inc., Shunwei Capital, Venture Highway and Knollwood Investment also participated in the round.

Founded in 2015 by IIT-Delhi batchmates Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal, Meesho is a platform that connects manufacturers with re-sellers, who eventually sell these products to users through social media platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook.

It offers services such as payments and logistics to these re-sellers which enables ease of transactions and sales and has over 45 million customers.

Vidit Aatrey, founder and CEO of Meesho said, “We take pride at the rate of speed and scale at which Meesho has grown, impacting a number of lives, and creating exponential learning along the way. 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.”

In the last one year, we have seen tremendous growth across small businesses and entrepreneurs seeking to move their businesses online and our new vision focuses on enabling 100 million small businesses to succeed, thrive and lead their operations online with ease on our platform.”

Meesho aims to simplify e-commerce for all small businesses in India. It will help the company to build a platform which is pro-small businesses with policies and tools to help even the informal seller to list and do business on Meesho. This will empower these business owners to reach customers through multiple channels – our entrepreneur network, direct Meesho consumers, seller owned storefronts and partnerships.

“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,” said Munish Varma, Managing Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers.

The company has grown over the years with tech-first and assetlight mindset. Meesho’s multifold growth over the last few years has been significant and disruptive in the e-commerce landscape. The employees have played a crucial role towards achieving this goal. Meesho will use the new fund-raise to strengthen talent pool across verticals – tech, product, and business, among others.

Sumer Juneja, Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers said, “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.”

The 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.