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Business News/ Companies / News/  Meesho  raises  $570  million  at  near  $5  billion  valuation

Meesho  raises  $570  million  at  near  $5  billion  valuation

Existing investors Prosus Ventures, SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Facebook also participated in the round. New investors who participated include Footpath Ventures, Trifecta Capital and Good Capital

Vidit Aatrey, chief executive officer of Meesho.Premium
Vidit Aatrey, chief executive officer of Meesho.

BENGALURU : Social commerce platform Meesho has raised $570 million in a fundraising led by Fidelity Management and Research and Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s B Capital Group, more than doubling the Bengaluru-based startup’s valuation to $4.9 billion.

Existing investors Prosus Ventures, SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Facebook also participated in the round. New investors who participated include Footpath Ventures, Trifecta Capital and Good Capital.

In April, Meesho turned a unicorn, or a company valued at more than $1 billion, after raising $300 million led by Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp. At the time, it was valued at $2.1 billion, a threefold jump from its 2019 valuation of $700 million when it raised $125 million.

Meesho operates a marketplace that connects sellers and suppliers with customers on social media platforms.

Social commerce is growing rapidly in India, led by a rise in the popularity of platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp. This year, e-commerce major Flipkart entered this category with its Shopsy app.

Vidit Aatrey, chief executive of Meesho, said the company will double down on product and technology capabilities following the latest fundraise. “Our focus will be on India, so we will continue to invest, to go deeper into the country, and find more people to come and sell on the platform. We plan to triple our tech and product team over the next 12 to 18 months. Our broad goal is to get 100 million monthly transacting customers on our platform by the end of next year," Aatrey said in an interview. “At the beginning of this year, we started our grocery vertical, and we plan to double down significantly and grow this aggressively."

Since its last funding round in April, Meesho said its order volume jumped 2.5 times, and it added new product categories, including sports and fitness, pet supplies and automotive accessories.

“We have evaluated e-commerce opportunities across emerging markets and are excited about Meesho’s focus on strong unit economics and a consumer-first approach. We are excited to partner with Meesho and its exceptional team that is democratizing e-commerce for a billion internet users across the country. Meesho’s business model has an incredibly compelling value proposition with entrepreneurs, end customers and suppliers consolidating on one platform," said Kabir Narang, founding general partner at B Capital Group.

Aatrey said the company will focus on growth and expansion. “It’s an amazing thing that mature companies went public in India and abroad. It’s a strong validation to the entire ecosystem. I don’t think we plan to do an IPO anytime soon because we are just focused on growth right now. We believe we will be very opportunistic about it, so whenever is the right time, when we feel we are ready for that, we will do it, but not anytime soon," he said.

“We are in the growth phase; overall profitability is not the biggest priority for us. But the day we want to, we can as a company become profitable. But right now, the room for growth is so much that it makes no sense for us to just go and become profitable".

Meesho’s fundraise also comes at a time it is battling a spate of fraudulent and unconsented orders on its platform.

Aatrey recently said the company implemented several steps, including the appointment of consultant Deloitte, to conduct a forensic audit and also probe the matter. “We now have stronger policies, but we are not getting complacent and are very focused on making sure that at all points of time, no person is mistreated by any user on the platform. One thing I would like to admit is that it is important to us to make sure we build the right platform where we are doing the right thing for everyone."

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Anuj Suvarna
Anuj Suvarna covers startups and venture capital. He writes about funding and acquisitions in VCCircle. When not writing about the Indian startup ecosystem, he likes to read non-fiction books, spend time with his pets (dad to 2 dogs and a cat) and go on treks. Previously, Anuj ran a restaurant consulting business and a bar in his hometown of Udupi.
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Updated: 30 Sep 2021, 11:30 PM IST
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