Meesho becomes India’s first Social Commerce Unicorn at $2.1 Bn valuation in $300 Mn Series E round

Meesho India's social commerce Unicorn

Social Commerce Unicorn, Meesho has raised $300 million in Series E round led by Softbank Vision Fund 2 at a valuation of $2.1 billion. Existing investors Prosus Ventures, Facebook, Shunwei Capital, Venture Highway, and Knollwood Investment are among other investors.

Sofar, Meesho has raised total funding of $490 million to date. The Series E valuation of Meesho at $2.1 billion is almost 7X that of the company’s valuation during Series D, which stood at $600 – $700 million. With the latest funds in house, Meesho plans to become, “The single digital ecosystem for 100 million small businesses”, and hire the best talent in the industry.

Bangalore-based Meesho is a four-year-old social commerce startup founded by Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal. The platform connects sellers with customers on most happening social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram. The platform of Meesho offers various e-commerce features such as order management, taking care of logistics, online payments, real-time shop updates, etc, with a simple user experience.

Meesho has helped thousands of individual businesses owned and run by women entrepreneurs and homepreneurs who have become financially independent and successful over the years through the offerings and have carved out their own identities. The new unicorn now is on a mission to be a pro-small business by bringing more small businesses into e-commerce operations. It plans to design a framework and policies that adhere to the mission and brings the smallest of smallest businesses possible on board.

Meesho claims that it has enabled over 13 million individual entrepreneurs to start their own online business with no investment, and has delivered orders from 100000 registered suppliers to across 26000 pin codes in nearly 5000 cities, generating over 500 crore revenue for individual entrepreneurs living in more than 4500 Tier-II cities.

Vidit Aatrey, co-founder and CEO of Meesho, said, “ In the last one year, we have seen tremendous growth across small businesses and entrepreneurs seeking to move their businesses online. And with our new vision, we will enable 100 million small businesses to start, succeed and lead their operations online with Meesho as their partner in their journey”.

During the Covid lockdown period in India, Meesho has launched Farmiso, a product that allowed anyone to start an online grocery shop online without any investment. Aatrey said on Monday that Farmiso has emerged as Meesho’s fastest-growing business.

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

Sumer Juneja, Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers, added: “We have been closely tracking Meesho for the last 18 months and have been impressed by its 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 ecommerce revolution in India and help them provide personalised experience to consumers.”

Global giants Facebook and Google have backed players in Social Commerce and Digital Neighbourhood Networks. Social commerce is all set to take on prominent giants like Amazon and Flipkart who plough a lot of money. While doing so, Meesho also plans to digitize neighbourhood stores in India which is likely to play on the side of the new Unicorn.

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