Meesho – an online marketplace for resellers in Bengaluru and California has got investment from Social networking giant FACEBOOK Inc, five years after first acquiring an Indian startup.
Facebook had bought Bengaluru-based Little Eye Labs in 2014. Its US peers Google and Twitter Inc. have also either invested in an Indian company or bought one.
Twitter had, in 2015, acquired mobile-based customer engagement platform ZipDial while Google made its first direct investment in an Indian company in December 2017 when it backed daily tasks management app Dunzo.
Meesho – Bengaluru based startup :
Meesho, a Bengaluru-based social commerce platform that helps resellers and emerging brands build businesses using social media, has bagged funding of undisclosed amount from social network giant Facebook.
The Online reseller Meesho has an app available in more than seven local languages other than English, with 40 Percent of its daily usage from non-English speaking users.
Meesho’s tools include an online platform that allows sellers to manage purchases and process payments, as well as a network of wholesale suppliers (its main categories are currently fashion and lifestyle items) and logistics providers.
In other words, it offers almost everything its vendors need to start selling online. This leaves vendors responsible for customer acquisition, picking what items they want to include in their online shops and marketing them.
History of Meesho :
Meesho – short for “meri shop” – was preceded by FashNear, a hyperlocal fashion discovery and commerce app founded in mid-2015. By end 2015, the founders pivoted to Meesho – Shopify for mobile for India – an app that enabled small stores to create online shops and sell through Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and other social channels by streamlining product discovery and payments.
It later moved in to organize and aggregate the Indian long tail supply chain and extended logistical support to its reseller customer base.
Meesho Fact sheet :
Year of Launch: 2015
Head Quarters: Bengaluru
Founders: Vidit Aatrey, Sanjeev Barnwal
Total Funding to date: $ 65.2 mn
Key Investors: Facebook, Sequoia India, Shunwei Capital, DST Partners
In November last year, Meesho raised $50 million in a Series C round of funding from China’s Shunwei Capital, Russian-Israeli billionaire Yuri Milner’s DST Partners and RPS Ventures, a fund set up by former SoftBank managing director Kabir Misra. Existing investors are Sequoia Capital India, SAIF Partners, Venture Highway and Y Combinator.
Investment from Facebook in Meesho :
This is Facebook’s first investment in an India-based startup and is a strong demonstration of the company’s commitment to the country’s vibrant internet ecosystem.
Facebook’s investment will help Meesho enable independent entrepreneurs to build businesses and grow their customer base via social channels.
The deal size, according to an Economic Timesreport may be about $20-25 million.
Meesho, run by Fashnear Technologies Pvt. Ltd is based out of Bengaluru. It also has an entity incorporated in California, the US, called Meesho Inc.
Founders of Meesho :
Founded by IIT Delhi alumni Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal in 2015, Meesho has created an alternate distribution channel by empowering housewives, young mothers, aspiring entrepreneurs, students, and teachers, to launch, build and promote their online businesses using WhatsApp, Facebook and other social media channels.
Vidit Aatrey, cofounder and CEO, Meesho wrote that the investment will help it further its efforts to enable independent entrepreneurs to build businesses and grow their customer base via social channels.
How Meesho Fits With Facebook’s Plans?
In an interview with CNBC-TV18, Facebook India MD Ajit Mohan said that Meesho stood out from its peers in certain aspects.
Firstly, the two founders had the right framework in terms of business building. “They were bringing a lot of passion and problem-solving and testing and learning approaches that we as a company like,” he said.
Why Is Social E-commerce Creating waves?
With more than 500 Mn Indians relying on the Internet for their day-to-day life, shopping online has become an inherent choice. Interestingly, according to Statista over 2.14 Bn people worldwide are expected to buy goods and services online by 2021.
The social eCommerce startups leverage the user bases of social media platforms such as WhatsApp or traditional media platforms to build eCommerce solutions for its customers which are more friendly and personalized. Even though they were expected to have lower acquisition costs, the results have been lukewarm.
Awards and Recognition :
In August 2016, VC-focused data platform Mattermark ranked Meesho 8 among 25 fastest-growing Y Combinator incubated startups.
In July 2017, Deccan Chronicle named Meesho among Top 5 apps for Social Commerce.
In Feb 2018, Forbes India featured Meesho founders Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal in its 30 Under 30 list of young achievers. The startup was also one of the growing Indian businesses to be profiled b Forbes Asia in the same year.
In April 2018, Meesho was selected as a part of the first batch of Google Launchpad’s ‘Solve For India’ program for startups building technology solutions for unique Indian challenges.
According to information on its website, Meesho has over 15,000 suppliers and more than two million resellers throughout the country on its platform.
Meesho facilitates a three-way marketplace enabling resellers, SMBs, and micro-entrepreneurs across India to connect with potential buyers using social media. The company claims to have more than 15K suppliers and 2 Mn resellers across India.
With a culmination of efforts coming from Facebook towards Meesho’s growth, the social eCommerce industry is bound to get more exciting soon.
Its app which is available in more than seven local languages other than English and about 40 per cent of its daily usage comes from a non-English speaking audience.
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