Recently Bengaluru-based social commerce platform Meesho raised funds from social media giant Facebook. Now the company is in discussions to raise $150-200 million from SoftBank, as per Livemint reports.
Investor interest in Meesho reflects a trend of investment firms wanting to invest in the social commerce platform.
In June, Bengaluru-based Meesho raised funds from social media giant Facebook as part of the ongoing round.
Founded in 2015 by IIT-Delhi batchmates Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal, Meesho is a platform that connects manufacturers with re-sellers, who eventually sell these products to users through social media platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook.
Two of the people cited above said the firm is in talks with Japan’s SoftBank to lead the round. Existing investors are also expected to take part in the fundraising, they added.
“Meesho has emerged as a market leader in its sector,” said one of the four people cited above. “This is one of the reasons why SoftBank is evaluating an investment in the company.” “The talks are at an early stage,” said the second person aware of the matter.
Meesho offers services such as payments and logistics to these re-sellers which enables ease of transactions and sales.
In the last four years, Meesho has grown to 15,000 suppliers and two million re-sellers across India, Aatrey said in June.
If the latest investment into Meesho takes place, it will also mark SoftBank’s foray into signing relatively smaller cheques and venturing early into companies as opposed to its prior big-cheque bets on Paytm, Flipkart, Ola and Oyo.
Other companies in this space include Mumbai-based Shop101 and Bengaluru-based GlowRoad. Shop101 last raised $11 million from Kalaari Capital and Unilever Ventures in December.
GlowRoad raised $10 million in April in a round led by China’s CDH along with participation from existing investor Accel Partners.
Investor interest in Meesho reflects a larger trend of investment firms wanting to invest in the social commerce space, which aims at primarily providing an online shopping experience of unbranded products and targeting users in Tier II markets and beyond.
Meesho has raised close to $100 million so far, with $50 million poured into the firm in November from new investors including Shunwei Capital, DST Partners and RPS Ventures.
Social commerce companies are the second wave of e-commerce companies in India after Flipkart and Amazon, but the primary target audience for social commerce firms are small-town users.
Other investors in the company include Sequoia India and SAIF Partners. At that time, Meesho was said to be valued at $200-250 million.
By: Abhinav Ranjan, Editorial Desk, DKODING Media