India’s first online re-selling platform, Meesho empowers small-scale businesses and entrepreneurs by providing an exclusive platform for their customers.
- The Meesho startup business model relies on streamlining the scattered sector of small businesses.
- In its sixth successful year, Meesho has more than 10 million entrepreneurs who actively use their platform for upscaling their business across various categories.
- Since inception, Meesho has raised a total of $215.2 million from 22 investors.
We all live for ourselves, earn for ourselves, and limit our thoughts based on what benefits us. In this unsettled country, there is a startup initiated by two IIT graduates in 2015 that solely works on humanitarian grounds and makes business by uplifting the businesses of others. Meesho, a startup founded by Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal, focuses on scaling up small-scale business by bringing them on the digital platform.
In today’s time, your online presence speaks for itself. Hence, it is a mandate to create a digital identity that can further boost the business, attract customers and tap into multiple expansion opportunities. At times, technology proves to be a blessing, for such a company, this indeed is true. The Meesho startup business model relies on streamlining the scattered sector of small business. They bring these roadside, non-registered companies on their platform and anchor them to sail through the challenges.
A glimpse of their journey
Started in 2015, Meesho which means ‘my shop’ was started in Bangalore. They were inspired by how each person chose to survive. Be it through laboring or self-skill, each person is striving to raise their standards.
In India, 70 percent of the women leave their jobs, yet have the education and skills to earn money. Most of them indulge in working from home, like being a tailor, baker, or tutor. The company wanted to give each of them their own identity by creating their online store. Through this channel, they were able to outreach more users and increase their sales.
Meesho, in their early days, expanded and did marketing through simple social media accounts like Whatsapp groups, Facebook, and Emails. They try to create content and videos in vernacular languages as well so that the user can relate to the product or service easily.
Digital adoption is a must for every business. Working on this mantra, Meesho is successfully running in its sixth year. They have more than 10 million entrepreneurs who actively use their platform for upscaling their business across various categories like lifestyle, home decor, fashion, beauty, recycled products, and kitchenware. These businesses are leveraged through the social media that Meesho creates and controls for them.
Watch: Vidit Aatrey on the success of Meesho
Ray of hope for Meesho during a pandemic
As the pandemic was a turbulent year for everyone, Meesho had to cut its workforce by 200 employees. They also reduced their margins and worked harder to ensure that the sales continued for their entrepreneurs. Bringing such marginal businesses on Amazon and Flipkart is not easy, but t-his team only knows how to succeed.
Since the sales increased on e-commerce platforms during the lockdown, these registered businesses earned more profit by 20 – 30 percent last year through sales. The founders suggested women entrepreneurs make masks, vegetable bags, and rugs last year so that these small-scale businesses can meet the need of the hour.
Reaching global giants for funding
As it is always said, ‘think big’, this company literally aimed for stars and shone all the way through. The company received their first round of funding in 2016 as they were selected through Y Combinator, a California-based seed accelerator for a three-month Summer program where it secured $120,000. Later in the year, they raised an undisclosed seed round of funding through angel investors, namely, VH Capital, Kashyap Deorah, Rajul Garg, and a few more.
Being on an expansion spree in 2017, Meesho raised series A funding of $3.1 million from venture capital firm, SAIF Partners. Subsequently, they raised funding of Series B and Series C worth $11.5 million through Sequoia India, $50 million from China’s Shunwei Capital, DST Partners, and RPS Ventures. The company raised its highest funding in 2019 of $125 million in a Series D round led by Naspers.
Way ahead for Meesho
Now the company not only brings the existing businessmen on board but also inspires the aspiring leaders to kick start their business. They counsel them as per their capabilities and suggest to them the ideas where they can successfully venture. In a recent virtual event, ‘Facebook Fuel for India’, the founder Vidit Aatrey mentioned their willingness to give small ticket size loans of up to $150 to entrepreneurs to stay afloat in the market and later work on the scheme to earn in back.
A true leader is not the one who moves forward but the one who pushes others for greater excellence. Meesho is one such industry in the Indian startup ecosystem that progresses as the business of their counterparts flourishes.