Meesho valued at $2.1 billion with SoftBank led $300 million funding – Times of India

BENGALURU: SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 has led a $300 million funding in Facebook-backed social commerce startup Meesho. With this, Meesho’s valuation has tripled to $2.1 billion, making it the most recent unicorn (startups valued at $1 billion or extra) this 12 months. Prior to this, 4 startups formally attained the unicorn standing this 12 months. At least a few extra are lined as much as be a part of the coveted membership within the coming weeks. Meesho’s present traders — Prosus Ventures, Facebook, Chinese fund Shunwei Capital, Venture Highway and Knollwood Investment — have additionally participated within the present funding spherical.
SoftBank’s wager on Meesho, which was began by Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal in 2015, is a sign that social commerce would be the subsequent progress driver for e-commerce in India — past the 100 million customers on e-commerce platforms like Amazon and Flipkart. Meesho, in keeping with Aatrey, has seen greater than a 10 occasions progress in its month-to-month transacting customers, at 5.5 million, in comparison with March 2020.
SoftBank has now invested $eight billion in India’s digital economic system by its Vision Fund 1 & 2, together with the $2.5 billion it put in Flipkart and which it later bought for $four billion to Walmart when the US retailer acquired Flipkart in 2018. In all, SoftBank Group has invested greater than $11 billion in India, in keeping with trade estimates.
“We have grown very fast in the last one year and have more aggressive goals for the next few years as well. Our eventual aim is to enable 100 million small businesses to come online and become successful,” stated Aatrey. “We started with women entrepreneurs in the fashion and accessories space and are now getting deeper across the country. We also got into grocery. The focus is to put this money to expand in more categories,” he added.
Meesho additionally plans to take a position a part of the brand new capital to strengthen its expertise infrastructure and crew, and on advertising to develop additional within the nation. Social commerce can happen by numerous fashions — video (stay or pre-recorded), chats by messaging apps, social networking platforms, reseller networks, and group shopping for. Meesho largely depends on the reseller community and has round 13 million particular person entrepreneurs on its platform reaching over 45 million prospects.
“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,” stated Munish Varma, managing associate at SoftBank Investment Advisers.
A latest report by Bain & Co and enterprise capital agency Sequoia Capital stated social commerce may very well be $16-20 billion in measurement within the subsequent 5 years in comparison with round $2 billion in 2020.


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