The Bengaluru-based company Meesho, a social commerce startup, has raised USD 125 million led by Naspers a South African media and internet group with participation from Facebook and existing investors SAIF Partners, Sequoia Capital, Shunwei Capital, RPS and Venture Highway.
Former Vodafone Group CEO Arun Sarin also participated in the round.
This investment takes Meesho’s valuation to USD 600 million, almost three times more than its previous funding round, sources said.
In December 2015, the Indian-origin social commerce platform was founded by IIT Delhi graduates Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal. It has raised more than USD 200 million till date.
The company plans to invest the raised fund for building its technology platform, launch new categories, and go deeper into areas outside of India’s major metro regions not serviced by traditional e-commerce marketplaces.
“The exciting growth of e-commerce in India has hidden the fact that over 90 percent of Indians, either can’t or won’t use it in its current form. They want online shopping that enables them to buy from small businesses they trust. Meesho provides a way for these customers to get what they need,” said Vidit Aatrey, cofounder & CEO, Meesho.
Meesho connects the resellers with suppliers and is now moving to target retailers and small shop owners to increase its addressable market. Resellers on Meesho use platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp , and Instagram to sell their products. Meesho offers solutions for discovery, logistics, and payments to enable easier transactions between resellers and buyers. The category is, however, plagued with high return rates of as much as 40-50 percent.