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Meta Platforms and SoftBank-backed Meesho is working on becoming Ebitda-positive by mid-2023 before going public, founder and chief executive Vidit Aatrey said at the company’s town hall meeting.

Meesho is likely to be listed in India, considering that US bourses are crowded, and will be in an advantageous position with its unique business model as investors tend to have more options around listed e-commerce businesses.

A recording of the meeting, obtained by VCCircle, showed aggressive plans to turn Ebitda positive. “We should put all of our efforts into the public listing. If we achieve Ebitda profitability we can achieve successful listing," he added.

Ebitda is short for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.

Aatrey was also considering dual listing, along the lines of Infosys and HDFC, which are listed in both India and the US.

Meesho will focus on gaining a larger market share in India and should onboarding a billion users, and not look at overseas expansion, considering that India’s retail market is likely to hit $1 billion, he said.

Refuting news reports on a funding crunch Aatrey said the company still has more than half of what it had raised last year. The move to go public is about scale and not because of a funding crunch, he said, citing the success of SEA Group’s Shopee in raising public market capital for expansion.

Aatrey said the market is no more rewarding growth over profitability, and the next leg of Meesho’s journey will be focussing on profit.

Meesho’s seller partners are mostly from tier-2 cities, while it targets customers in smaller towns. It gets nearly half of its sales from apparel besides selling jewellery, kitchen appliances, footwear and grocery. The startup has 700,000 sellers on its platform and 125 million monthly active users.

Founded in 2015 by Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal, both IIT Delhi alumni, Meesho started off as a social commerce firm and is in the process of pivoting to e-commerce. It competes with the likes of DealShare and CityMall. In April, it laid off around 200 employees and revamped its grocery vertical to reduce redundancies as part of a cost-cutting exercise.

In 2021, Meesho raised over $870 million in two tranches from Fidelity, SoftBank and B Capital and was valued at $4.9 billion in September 2021.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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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