SoftBank Vision Fund 2 leads $300 mn funding round in Meesho

SoftBank Vision Fund 2 leads $300 mn funding round in Meesho
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5 Apr, 2021

Bengaluru headquartered Fashnear Technologies, which runs social ecommerce platform Meesho, has raised $300 million (Rs 2,201 crore as per current exchange rates) in a growth funding round, valuing the company at $2.1 billion. 

The round was led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, which is yet to announce a final close. Returning investors Prosus Ventures, Facebook, Shunwei Capital, Venture Highway and Knollwood Investment also participated in the round.  

The company will use the fresh capital to build an ecommerce platform for small businesses to operate on Meesho. It will also hire talent across technology, product and business, according to a statement. 

The company had last raised $125 million from Prosus Ventures in August 2019. It has raised over $490 million in equity capital across multiple rounds, including the current one, according to data sourced from VCCEdge. 

Meesho was founded in 2015 by Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev Kumar Barnwal as a reselling platform. It helps resellers on the platform, most of whom are women, source products through its network and sell to their community or group on WhatsApp or Facebook. The profit margin set by the reseller is shared by Meesho.  

“With the new round of funding, we are extremely thrilled to have SoftBank onboard. We are focused on expanding our vision — from helping aspiring women entrepreneurs to creating Meesho as a single ecosystem that will enable all small businesses in India to succeed online,” Aatrey, also the CEO of Meesho, said in the statement.  

He added, “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.” 

The platform claims to have 1.3 crore resellers and over 1 lakh registered suppliers. It said it has generated over Rs 500 crore in income for its resellers over the last six years. 

“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,” Munish Varma, managing partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers, said in the statement. 

The current round makes Meesho the most funded companies in the social commerce sector, which is gathering steam in India. The space has also seen competition from influencer-led ecommerce platforms such as Bulbulshop as well as content-led commerce models from the likes of short video app Trell.    

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