Facebook-backed social commerce company Meesho has raised $300 million in Series E funding round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, giving the startup a valuation of $2.1 billion.
With this new round, Meesho’s valuation, which was $ 700 million in 2019, almost tripled. Prosus Ventures, Facebook, Shunwei Capital, Venture Highway and Knollwood Investment also participated in the round.
Meesho helps small businesses and individuals become sellers on social platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram. Founded by Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal in December 2015, India-based startup offers include order management, logistics, online payments, real-time shop updates, and helping businesses get their customers to subscribe.
The startup claims to have a network of more than 13 million entrepreneurs, mostly women, from hundreds of Indian towns serving largely in clothing, household appliances and electronics. Meesho competes with companies like GlowRoad and Shop101.
“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,” said Munish Varma, Managing Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers, in a statement.
Meesho said it will distribute the investment to 100 million individuals and small businesses in the country to help them sell online. Vidit Aatrey, Founder and CEO of Meesho, stated that they are extremely excited to have SoftBank within their structure; He says that in the last year, they have seen an increase in the number of small businesses and entrepreneurs who want to move their businesses online and they have adopted helping them as a mission. Meesho aims to simplify e-commerce for all small businesses in India.
Super proud to announce that SoftBank Vision Fund is leading our $300M round at $2.1B valuation and partnering in our vision of enabling 100M Small Businesses in India to succeed online. @sumerjuneja @Sarthak_Misra1— Vidit Aatrey (@viditaatrey) April 5, 2021
A thread on past and future! 🧵https://t.co/NnQPYEfnI1
“We are focused on expanding our vision from focusing on enabling aspiring women entrepreneurs to creating Meesho as a single ecosystem that will enable all small businesses to succeed online,” said Vidit Aatrey, founder and CEO at Meesho. “In the last one year, we have seen tremendous growth across small businesses and entrepreneurs seeking to move their businesses online.”
Prior to this investment, Meesho raised a $ 125 million Series D in August 2019 with the participation of Sequoia, Shunwei, Elevation Capital, Venture Highway, RPS, Facebook and former Vodafone CEO Arun Sarin.
“We have been closely tracking Meesho for the last 18 months and have been impressed by their growth, daily engagement metrics, focus on unit economics and ability to create a strong team. We believe Meesho provides an efficient platform for SME suppliers and social resellers to onboard the e-commerce revolution in India and help them provide personalized experience to consumers,” said Sumer Juneja, partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers, in a statement.