Naspers leads $125 mn funding round in social commerce platform Meesho

Naspers leads $125 mn funding round in social commerce platform Meesho
Photo Credit: Photo Credit: VCCircle
12 Aug, 2019

Social commerce app Meesho has raised $125 million in a funding round, led by South African consumer internet group Naspers.

The on-going fundraise saw participation from social media platform Facebook, which had invested $25 million in the company in June.

Existing investors, including early backer SAIF Partners as well as Sequoia and Venture Highway, also participated in the round. 

Shunwei Capital and RPS, which joined the cap table in November 2018, were also a part of the round

Arun Sarin, the former CEO of Vodafone Group,  was also a part of the round, according to a statement issued by the company, 

The company will utilise the funds to expand beyond metros and strengthen its technology platform to support new product lines and enhance its analytics capabilities, the statement added. 

Founded in 2015 by IIT Delhi graduates Vidit Aatrey and Sanjay Barnwal, Meesho is a reselling platform where subscribers can source products and re-sell to their customers or community through WhatsApp or Facebook. The re-sellers can set a profit margin, which is shared with the Meesho platform. 

“I am particularly proud that Meesho has cut across gender, education levels, risk appetites and vocations to create livelihoods for people with no investment of their own. Our social sellers are small retailers, women, students and retired citizens, with 70% being homemakers who have found financial freedom and a business identity without having to step outside their homes,” Vidit Aatrey, CEO, Meesho, said in the statement.

The company currently has a network of two million social sellers, 70% of whom are across 700 towns in India and works as a distribution channel for 15,000 suppliers. Currently, the app supports the sale of products in the home, wellness, electronics and apparel categories.

“Globally, Naspers identifies big areas of consumer spend that have not yet been significantly disrupted by technology and India e-commerce certainly fits the bill.  We were attracted to Meesho because the team have built a uniquely Indian solution that utilises the reach and scale the Internet enables, and harnesses and makes it available for small sellers to better serve customers no matter where they live, for the benefit of all,” said Ashutosh Sharma, head of India investments, Naspers Ventures. 

Similar deals in the space:

  • In May, Bengaluru-headquartered GlowRoad raised $11.5 million, led by Kora Investment Partners and Vertex Ventures.
  • Social commerce platform for travel Airblack raised $1.5 million in seed round from SAIF Partners.  
  • In March, influencer driven social shopping app Bulbulshop raised around $2 million from Sequoia and Leo Capital.