[Funding Alert] Facebook debuts startup investment in India with Bengaluru-based Meesho
Meesho has an app available in more than seven local languages other than English, with 40 percent of its daily usage from non-English speaking users.Rashi Varshney
Meesho, a Bengaluru-based social commerce platform that helps resellers and emerging brands build businesses using social media, has bagged funding of undisclosed amount from social network giant Facebook.
This is Facebook's first investment in an India-based startup, and is a strong demonstration of the company's commitment to the country's vibrant internet ecosystem, the Silicon Valley company said in a statement.
Founded by IIT Delhi alumni Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal in 2015, Meesho has created an alternate distribution channel by empowering housewives, young mothers, aspiring entrepreneurs, students, and teachers, to launch, build and promote their online businesses using WhatsApp, Facebook and other social media channels.
Its app which is available in more than seven local languages other than English, and about 40 percent of its daily usage comes from a non-English speaking audience.
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Ajit Mohan, Vice President and Managing Director, Facebook India, said, "With this investment in Meesho, we want to fuel a business model that can result in rapid job creation and the rise of a female entrepreneurial class in India. We love that the company is translating the power of online communities to expand economic opportunity for all of India, especially women."
Vidit, Co-Founder of Meesho, said,
“It's been an amazing journey for the Meesho team and we cannot wait to do more as we work towards our goal of building a bigger community and enabling millions of entrepreneurs to be successful. Over the last four years, we've grown from our humble beginnings at IIT to 15,000 suppliers and 2,000,000 resellers throughout India."
He added, "We share a common goal with Facebook - to enable community and help small businesses grow. This commitment from Facebook will help us leapfrog towards our goal.”
Meesho had raised $50 million in its Series C round in November last year led by new investors Shunwei Capital, RPS Ventures and DST Partners. Existing investors SAIF Partners, Venture Highway, Y Combinator and Sequoia India also participated.
Before that, it raised Series-B funding of $11.5 million, led by Sequoia Capital India Advisors last June.