Fb backs social commerce startup Meesho in first India funding – TechCrunch

As Fb explores methods to generate income from WhatsApp, the corporate is now turning to a startup that already has a lead. The social juggernaut stated in the present day it has invested in social-commerce startup Meesho in what’s the first time the agency takes fairness in an Indian startup.

Neither Fb nor Meesho, which previous to this announcement had raised about $65 million from quite a few buyers together with DST Companions, RPS Ventures and Shunwei Capital, shared monetary phrases of the deal. A supply accustomed to the matter informed TechCrunch the dimensions of the capital was “very important.”

Meesho, a Y Combinator alumnus, is an internet social commerce that connects sellers with prospects on social media platforms reminiscent of WhatsApp. The four-year-old startup claims to have a community of greater than 2 million resellers who largely cope with apparels and electronics gadgets.

These resellers are principally homemakers, most of whom have bought a smartphone for the primary time lately. Meesho has most of its prospects in smaller cities and cities, popularly dubbed as India 2, the place most customers are nonetheless not offline. These are two issues that attracted Fb to Meesho, Ajit Mohan, VP and Managing Director of Fb India, informed TechCrunch in an interview.

“A platform that’s geared toward India 2 and has such a big person base of ladies — when most individuals on-line in India are predominantly males — is a outstanding achievement,” he stated. In response to a number of estimates, males account for greater than 80% of India’s web person base.

Meesho claims that it’s serving to hundreds of resellers earn greater than Rs 25,000 ($360) every month. In an interview with TechCrunch final yr, Meesho co-founder and CEO Vidit Aatrey stated the startup, which operates in India at present, deliberate to enter worldwide markets.

At the same time as WhatsApp is a vital play for Meesho, the startup will proceed to work with different social media platforms, Fb’s Mohan stated. Final yr, Fb launched its Market, which operates in the identical house as Meesho. Mohan stated the corporate doesn’t see Meesho as a automobile to increase its circle of relatives of providers.

Quite the opposite, Fb is now open to exploring funding in different startups which might be constructing distinctive options for the Indian market. “Wherever we consider there’s alternative past the work we do in the present day, we’re open to exploring additional funding offers,” he stated. There isn’t any explicit class that Fb is essentially , he added.

At the same time as Fb has not made any push to make WhatsApp increase past a communications service, customers in India, the service’s largest market, are more and more discovering methods to include Fb’s app into their companies.

Google, Amazon, and Twitter too have made investments in Indian startups. Whereas Twitter has backed social platform ShareChat, Google has invested in hyperlocal concierge app Dunzo.

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