Indian social commerce platform Meesho has entered the unicorn club after raising $300 million in the latest round of funding. The Series E funding round, led by SoftBank Group's Vision Fund 2, saw the valuation of the Bengaluru-based start-up rise to $2.1 billion from around $700 million in 2019.
Existing investors Facebok Inc, Prosus Ventures, Shunwei Capital, Venture Highway and Knollwood Investment also participated in the latest investment round.
Meesho said it will utilise the funds to strengthen its talent pool across all areas, including technology, product and business.
Founded in 2015 by IIT-Delhi batchmates Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal, Meesho provides manufacturers a platform to connect with re-sellers, who then sell their products to end-customers via social media platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook. The application offers payment and logistics services to these re-sellers for ease of transactions and sales. The company caters to around 1 crore re-sellers across more than 5,000 cities in India.
Meesho focuses on simplifying e-commerce for small businesses in India. The company allows such businesses to reach their customers via multiple channels, including entrepreneur network, direct Meesho consumers, seller-owned storefronts and partnerships.
"SoftBank has always been excited to back founders that provide unique solutions for the local market," Bloomberg quoted Munish Varma, managing partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers, as saying. "By using the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning, Meesho has created a platform for many small business owners to sell to the next cohort of internet users."
(Edited by Vivek Punj)
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