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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 mentioned as we speak 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 a variety of traders together with DST Companions, RPS Ventures and Shunwei Capital, shared monetary phrases of the deal. A supply acquainted with the matter informed TechCrunch the dimensions of the capital was “very vital.”
Meesho, a Y Combinator alumnus, is an internet social commerce that connects sellers with prospects on social media platforms equivalent to WhatsApp. The four-year-old startup claims to have a community of greater than 2 million resellers who largely cope with apparels and electronics objects.
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 the subsequent part of web customers are becoming a member of from. 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 girls — when most individuals on-line in India are predominantly males — is a exceptional achievement,” he mentioned. Based on 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 12 months, Meesho co-founder and CEO Vidit Aatrey mentioned the startup, which operates in India at the moment, deliberate to enter worldwide markets.
At the same time as WhatsApp is an important play for Meesho, the startup will proceed to work with different social media platforms, Fb’s Mohan mentioned. Final 12 months, Fb launched its Market, which operates in the identical area as Meesho. Mohan mentioned the corporate doesn’t see Meesho as a automobile to increase its circle of relatives of companies.
Quite the opposite, Fb is now open to exploring funding in different startups which can be constructing distinctive options for the Indian market. “Wherever we consider there’s alternative past the work we do as we speak, we’re open to exploring additional funding offers,” he mentioned. There isn’t a explicit class that Fb is essentially targeted on, 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.