Meesho, an Indian social commerce startup that has the backing of Facebook, has raised $300 million in new funding, bringing its value to $2.1 billion.
According to the Economic Times, this new round of funding, led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, has nearly tripled Meesho’s valuation compared to its 2019 round of fundraising, which had the company at a $700 million valuation following a $125 million funding round.
The report noted Meesho is the fourth Indian startup to achieve unicorn status — meaning a valuation of $1 billion or above — this year. Others that have reached unicorn level in 2021 include insurance tech platform Digit, health tech platform Innovaccer and online construction material marketplace Infra.market, according to the news outlet.
Also taking part in the financing round were existing investors Facebook, Shunwei Capital, Venture Highway and Knollwood Investment. Meesho says it is focused on expanding its scope, going from a platform that helped aspiring female entrepreneurs to one that can enable all small businesses to establish themselves online.
Meesho’s target is to help 100 million small businesses and entrepreneurs digitize their companies, while also expanding its own team. This puts it in competition with companies such as Amazon and Flipkart, according to the news outlet.
These competitors are seeking to make money by “removing layers of inefficiencies in distribution, they also want to use small businesses to reach customers, especially in smaller towns,” per the report. Meesho is also competing against newcomers in the space like Dealshare and Shop101, the ET says, companies that help sellers connect with clients through social networks while also helping them reach suppliers.
Meesho says it has helped 13 million entrepreneurs so far and has a base of 45 million customers in India.
Social commerce is booming in southeast Asia. As PYMNTS reported last year, social commerce orders in the first half of 2020 more than doubled, while gross merchandise value tripled between 2019 and 2020.