Social commerce platform Meesho pockets $50 mn in fresh funding
Bengaluru- and California-based Meesho, an online marketplace for resellers, has raised $50 million (Rs 365 crore) in a Series C round of funding, the company said in a statement.
China's Shunwei Capital, Russian billionaire Yuri Milner’s DST Partners and RPS Ventures, a fund set up by former SoftBank managing director Kabir Misra, were the new investors in the round.
Existing investors Sequoia Capital India, SAIF Partners, Venture Highway and Y Combinator also took part in this round, Meesho said. It didn't reveal who led the round.
The startup said that it will use the fresh capital to build a stronger product, scale its technology team, expand into more categories and grow its domestic and international supply base.
“Social e-commerce is the next big thing in the e-commerce space of India. We strongly believe that Meesho’s social reselling model is highly suitable for the great number of new-to-Internet buyers,” said Tuck Lye Koh, founding partner and CEO of Shunwei Capital.
Earlier in the day, The Economic Times said the company raised this round at a valuation of anywhere between $200 million to $250 million.
The new round takes the total funding raised by the company to roughly $65 million.
Meesho's announcement comes just a day after Shunwei, which has previously backed Indian startups such as ShareChat and Vokal, said it had raised $1.21 billion for new funds.
Run by Fashnear Technologies Pvt. Ltd, Meesho is based out of Bengaluru. It also has an entity incorporated in California, US, called Meesho Inc.
The startup was founded in 2015 by Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi alumni Vidit Aatrey, who is the CEO, and Sanjeev Barnwal, who is the CTO. Meesho allows sellers to set up an online shop through its platform and allows users to share content on social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook and Pinterest.
The company, whose operations cover 500 cities and towns across the country, claims that its reselling platform has been used by more than 20 lakh resellers. According to information on its website, it has helped sell more than 30 lakh products, generating more than Rs 60 crore in total transaction volume so far, according to information available on its website.
“We’ve witnessed 10-fold growth over the last six months and have made significant progress in improving the experience of our sellers and consumers,” Aatrey said.
Prior to setting up Meesho, Aatrey worked with ad-tech company InMobi and diversified conglomerate ITC. Barnwal was with consumer electronics companies Sony and Samsung.
Meesho was among the three Indian startups chosen by Y Combinator for its summer 2016 batch. That was the first time the Silicon Valley accelerator took Indian startups on board.
The broader e-commerce enabler segment has seen considerable funding activity in recent times.
In September, Chennai-based Mad Street Den, an artificial intelligence and image recognition platform for e-retailers, secured funding from Japanese telecom operator KDDI.
In August, Bengaluru-based ShopX, a business-to-business e-commerce platform for small retailers, raised $35 million (Rs 240 crore) from Hong Kong-based Fung Holdings.
In the same month, Techcircle had reported that Wooplr Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which enables social commerce via an eponymous online fashion portal, was in advanced talks to raise up to $20 million in a Series C round of funding.