NEW DELHI: Social commerce startup Meesho is finalising a financing round of nearly $1 billion that may take its valuation to around $8 billion, three people in know of the matter told TOI.
The latest talk of a fund-raise comes after the Bengaluru-headquartered company’s valuation doubled to $4.9 billion in September, when investors led by US asset manager Fidelity and B Capital pumped in $570 million. Social commerce uses online platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram to promote and sell products & services.
In April, Meesho was valued at $2.1 billion, when it raised $300 million from SoftBank’s Vision Fund. The new round may get finalised in January. A questionnaire emailed to a Meesho spokesperson did not elicit a response till the time of going to the press.
“The company has doubled its numbers since its last funding round. If they get the numbers right, the valuation may rise beyond $8 billion to over $9 billion,” said a senior industry executive. Meesho clocked a gross merchandise value (GMV) of around $5 billion in January-October, which is twice as much as what it was doing in January-July, sources said.
In comparison, wealth management company Bernstein said in a recent report that Flipkart, excluding its fashion e-tailer Myntra, clocked a GMV of around $12.5 billion in calendar year 2020, while competitor Amazon India followed close with a GMV of $11.5 billion during the period.
Meesho, which has become a leading player in the social commerce space, offers its platform to small businesses largely led by women to sell on Facebook and WhatsApp. It competes with the likes of DealShare and CityMall that operate through a community-based model. In July, the Walmart-owned Flipkart, too, entered the space with Shopsy that aims to onboard 25 million entrepreneurs on its platform by 2023.
Meesho said it wants to enable 100 million entrepreneurs across several categories to sell on its platform. Started in 2015 by Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal, the company entered the online grocery space this year through Farmiso, which has pitted it directly against the likes of Tata’s Bigbasket, Grofers as well as horizontal e-commerce players such as Amazon and Flipkart. It is building a logistics supply chain that will offer the lowest cost service across India, Meesho said on its website.
The company witnessed over 57 million downloads across the App Store and the Google Play Store from August to October, 2021, according to App Annie, making it the most-downloaded app across all categories in India, it said.