India Gets 5th Unicorn In 2021 As Meesho Raises $300 Mn
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The year 2021 seems to have started on a positive note for Indian entrepreneurs as more and more startups entered the coveted Unicorn club, the latest being the social ecommerce platform Meesho.
The Facebook-backed startup on Monday announced raising $300 million in a new funding round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2. The round also saw participation from existing investors such as Prosus Ventures, Shunwei Capital, Venture Highway, Knollwood Investment and Facebook.
The investment has almost trebled the company’s valuation to $2.1 billion, making it into the prestigious Unicorn club (startups with valuation above $1 billion). The startup has raised $125 million in 2019, which then had valued it to $700 million.
Meesho is an Indian-origin social commerce platform founded by Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal. The platform aims to enable women from all over India to become independent by starting their own business. The 2015 founded startup enables small businesses and individuals to start their online stores via social channels such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, among other social media platforms. The startup boasts of earning trust of over 10 million resellers across the country.
Commenting on the fund raise Vidit Aatrey, founder and chief executive officer said, “We take pride at the rate of speed and the scale at which Meesho has grown, positively impacting millions of lives, and creating exponential learning along the way. 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. 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.”
Commenting on the investment, Sumer Juneja, partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers said that the bank has been tracking the growth of the startup for the last 18 months and is impressed by its growth.
“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.”
The startup till date has delivered orders to over 100,000 registered suppliers to over 26,000 pin codes in more than 4,800 cities, generating more than INR 500 crore in income for individual entrepreneurs.