Bengaluru based social ecommerce startup Meesho has raised $3.1 Mn in a round of funding led by SAIF Partners. Existing investors YCombinator and Venture Highway also participated in the round.
As per CEO Vidit Aatrey, the startup plans to use the funding to hire for its tech and business operation teams. It is also looking to scale up its platform by bringing in more resellers through community engagement and referrals.
The round brings the total funding raised by the startup to $3.7 Mn. Last August, it had raised an undisclosed amount of funding from VH Capital, Kashyap Deorah, Rajul Garg, Oyo Rooms’ Maninder Gulati, Abhishek Jain, Jaspreet Bindra among others. Prior to that, in July 2016, Meesho was selected by YCombinator for a three-month programme based out of its Mountain View headquarters. The accelerator invests $120K in startups for a 7% equity stake in the selected startups.
Founded by IIT graduates Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal in 2015, Meesho is a mobile-first ecommerce platform that caters to the specific needs of small businesses in India. Businesses can create an online shop, share on WhatsApp and Facebook. They can keep customers updated with new products, get new customers leads in real-time and collect payments over chat.
Basically, Meesho connects suppliers to a network of resellers largely comprising housewives, who then use channels such as WhatsApp and social media platforms Facebook and Instagram to promote these products within their social circles. Currently, it has about 20,000 resellers and more than 1,000 suppliers on its marketplace, mainly in the categories of fashion, lifestyle and home, and kitchen.
Aatrey told ET, “We are building a new distribution channel for suppliers and helping housewives earn from within their social networks.”
A reseller earns 10%-20% commission on each transaction. Meesho has partnered with third-party logistics players to enable deliveries. About half of its orders are fulfilled through cash on delivery, around 25% through payment gateways, for which it has tied up with Razorpay, while the rest are done through mobile wallets.