Friday, 2023 September 29

Social commerce startup Meesho looks to raise USD 250 million from SoftBank Vision Fund

After struggling for the better part of the last year due to the COVID-19-induced slowdown, social commerce startup Meesho is on a fast track to becoming a unicorn. The Bengaluru-based startup might soon land a USD 250 million check from SoftBank Vision Fund at a valuation of USD 2 billion.

The investment deal, which is in the final stages of negotiation, will double its valuation from the previous funding round, a report by local media Economic Times said. This will make Meesho India’s latest unicorn and the first billion-dollar company in the social commerce segment.

Meesho had raised USD 125 million Series D round in August 2019 led by Naspers, which valued the company between USD 600 to 650 million. Its other existing backers include Facebook, Elevation Capital (previously SAIF Partners), Sequoia Capital, Shunwei Capital, RPS,  and Venture Highway.

With India witnessing a rapid tech adoption since the last six months and consumer demand coming back, Meesho is projecting strong growth this year.

The company is also likely to benefit from the recovery of the Indonesian market, where it launched operations last March.

Before the pandemic hit, Meesho was growing rapidly and had brought top-tier investors on its cap-table. The company’s revenue in the financial year ended March 2020 grew to USD 42 million recording almost a four-fold rise from USD 11 million a year earlier. In the same time period, its losses in FY 20 tripled to USD 43.2 million.

Currently, the company claims to have over 10 million resellers and 70 million customers on its platform. Under the model Meesho has deployed, the resellers reach out to customers on platforms like WhatsApp and Instagram, and once a customer places an order, the company helps resellers to source and ship the product.

Meesho competes with a slew of social commerce platforms like Shop101, Dealshare, Glowroad, Kiko TV, and ShopG, among others in the nascent segment, which is expected to see a lot of action this year.

Moulishree Srivastava
Moulishree Srivastava
In-depth, analytical and explainer stories and interviews on technology, internet economy, investments, climate tech and sustainability. Coverage of business strategies, trends in startup and VC ecosystems and cross-border stories capturing the influence of SEA, China and Japan on the local startup industry.

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