FB makes its 1st direct funding in Indian startups with Meesho

Social commerce in India is seeing a boom. Several startups in the space have been backed by top tier venture capitalists. However, out of all social commerce startups, Meesho is the hottest one. And this can be gauged from the interest of several top-notch investors including SoftBank.

While Entrackr sources have been emphasising that the Bengaluru-based firm has a term sheet for $250 million round from several investors, Meesho has just raised capital from Facebook, where the amount is undisclosed.

Several reports outline that it’s an undisclosed amount, but a BusinessLine report stated that Facebook has invested $25 million in Meesho.

Importantly, this is the first direct bet by the social network giant in a local startup. Previously, Mark Zuckerbug had invested $50 million in edtech startup BYJU’s via philanthropic arm – Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI).

Last November, Meesho had raised $50 million in Series C round from Shunwei Capital, DST Partners and RPS Ventures. Sequoia Capital, SAIF Partners, Venture Highway, and Y Combinator are the early backers of the firm.

Meesho is an app-based marketplace, which connects resellers directly with raw material suppliers. Currently, a majority of the resellers on the platform are housewives, small business owners, small boutique brands and others who sell art and craft, fashion wear, home and kitchen products.

Presently, over 35% of Meesho user base comes from the vernacular audience. It has about 1.5 million resellers on its platform.

Meesho had clocked Rs 6.01 crore in revenue in FY18, a 5X jump from Rs 1.21 crore in FY17. To generate this revenue the firm spent Rs 10.98 crore, showcasing a 6.6X hike in expenses from Rs 1.66 crore figure in FY17. The firm is yet to disclose FY19 results.

Backing from Facebook is indeed a feat for the three-year-old venture. Given that the company has been in talks to raise a larger round and has multiple term sheets, it’s likely that Meesho would raise three digits round in coming months.

Shop101 and Glowroad are other notable startups in the space. While Shop101 had raised capital from VCs including Kalaari,  Unilever, and Stellaris; Glowroad scooped up a $10 million round from China’s CDH Investments.

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