Social Commerce Startup Meesho Pouches $125 Million From Naspers


Bangalore based social commerce startup Meesho, the company which has got funding from social media giant Facebook has announced securing a fresh round of capital led by Naspers. In the latest funding, the company has raised $125 million with participation from existing backers SAIF, Sequoia, Shunwei Capital, RPS and Venture Highway, Arun Sarin, former CEO of Vodafone Group. Facebook also participated in the financing. Prior to this round, Facebook had infused $25 million as part of a corporate round just 2 months ago. The latest infusion means that the total amount secured by the company now stands at $215.2 million.

Launched in 2015 by Sanjeev Barnwal and Vidit Aatrey, Meesho is an online reseller network which connects customers on social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram. The firm has more than 2 million resellers across 700 towns in the country where they are dealing in apparel, home appliances, and electronics items.

Interestingly, 80% of the user base of the company are women. The firm through a statement said that the freshly raised funding will help them grow the community of women entrepreneurs who want to run their own businesses and due to lack of funds couldn't venture out.

Vidit Aatrey, CEO of the firm speaking to Economic Times said that In the last few months, we have launched categories including cosmetics, FMCG and travel packages. The focus is now on scaling these businesses along with existing ones across the country, primarily smaller towns and cities. This includes introducing more regional languages on our app (from seven currently), leveraging our referral program which is our biggest growth driver, and a mix of online and offline reach out strategy."

Ashutosh Sharma, head of India investments, Naspers Ventures speaking of infusing the sum in the firm said, “We were attracted to Meesho because the team has built a uniquely Indian solution that utilizes the reach and scales the internet enables…Meesho has hit a sweet spot in the market and is well-poised to serve the next 500 million online shoppers in the country.”

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