Indian eCommerce firm, Meesho, has secured $570 million in a Series F funding round, bringing the company to a valuation of $4.9 billion. The new financing round was co-led by Fidelity and B Capital Group, and it comes after a $300 million Series E funding round which valued the firm at $2.1 billion. The new round saw the participation of other investors including Prosus Ventures, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Facebook, and Good Capital, and according to the firm’s Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Vidit Aatrey, it did not involve any secondary transaction.
Meesho also counts major companies such as Sequoia Capital India, Y Combinator, and Elevation Capital among its earliest investors. The Bangalore-based firm operates a three-sided marketplace that connects suppliers and resellers with customers on social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram. The resellers buy listed products from the suppliers and make a commission on each transaction when they sell to customers.
Meesho was founded in 2015 to help women start their businesses without the need for any capital, and currently, about 80 percent of the firm’s resellers are women. On a broader scale, the firm sought out to democratize internet commerce for everyone, including consumers, entrepreneurs and small businesses. Things did not roll out smoothly, or rather success was not achieved in a boom, as an early investor recalled that Chief Executive of Meesho, Vidit Aatrey, used to package and make deliveries himself. “When we started in 2015, what was mostly available online was branded products that were being sold to tier 1 customers,” Vidit Safety said, adding that mostly smartphones, other electronics items and branded fashion products were popular then –everything else was basically offline. But things have improved rapidly over the years.
As of April this year, Meesho had 13 million entrepreneurs and over 100,000 suppliers using its platform. Chief Executive Vidit Aatrey refused to reveal new figures, but mentioned that the company had grown “three times since the previous fundraise.” He added that the startup has become a complete “horizontal player, where customers are buying from every category, including fashion, lifestyle, personal care, electronics and accessories, and automotive.” Earlier this year, Meesho ventured into the grocery space, and Vidit Aatrey said that the firm was fast making traction in the area.
Meesho, like other e-commerce firms, was drastically affected by the first wave of the pandemic last year but has now fully recovered. With the new funds, the firm plans to broaden its research and development efforts and hopes to increase its team by three times in the next 18 months. The startup also has the ambitious goal to reach 100 million transacting users by the end of next year.