Social commerce platform Meesho had started its Series D round with a promising investment of $25 million from none other than social media giant Facebook, becoming the Mark Zuckerberg led company’s first direct investment in the Indian startup ecosystem.
Now, the round has been extended with another $100 million being poured in by South African tech conglomerate Naspers – the lead, and other existing investors including Shunwei Capital, RPS Ventures, SAIF Partners, and Venture Highway. Arun Sarin, ex-CEO of Vodafone Group also participated in the round. With these two tranches, the round total has gone up to $125 million.
The Bengaluru based firm looks to expand operations across India with the new funding round. Operations wise, not only does the company helps sellers connect with customers via social media platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram; it is also an app-based marketplace that connects resellers directly with raw material suppliers.
In June, Meesho had claimed that the firm has a network of more than 15,000 suppliers and two million resellers on its platform. With the fresh capital, the plan is to expand this seller base to 18 million and grow its community of women entrepreneurs, says a TechCrunch report.
Where Entrackr sources had earlier emphasised that the company is in talks to raise about $250 million, there has been another report circulated by Mint in the morning which claimed that the IIT alumnus Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal founded startup is also in talks with SoftBank to pick up a $200 million cheque, which is a relatively smaller ticket size for SoftBank.
True or not, Meesho has claimed the top spot in the social commerce space in the Indian startup ecosystem. And due to the rise in the industry space which mostly caters to the middle tiers of the Indian demography – a tier that is slated to double up internet consumption in the coming years, the company sees a great magnitude of investor interest.
The firm has raised a total of $190 million till date, out of which, $50 million was raised in November last year in a Series C round led by Shunwei Capital with participation from RPS Ventures and DST Partners. Meesho also counts Sequoia Capital and Y Combinator as its early backers.