This is hidden to nobody, India is going to be superhub in the data world. After Google, Amazon, and Twitter, Facebook is buying a stake in Indian e-commerce start-up Meesho, the head of the U.S. tech giant’s Indian business said on Thursday, looking to deepen its reach in one of the world’s biggest internet markets.
What is Meesho? It is an online marketplace that connects sellers with customers on social media platforms such as WhatsApp. These resellers are mostly homemakers, most of whom have purchased a smartphone for the first time in recent years. Eighty percent of Meesho’s user base is female, the startup’s co-founder and CEO Vidit Aatrey told TechCrunch.
Meesho also claimed that it has resellers from Metros, emerging cities and even from small towns which are also dubbed as India 2. According to its official website, Meesho has already covered more than 5000 towns and counting. These are the things which attracted Facebook to make an investment in Meesho.
Ajit Mohan, VP and managing director of Facebook India, told TechCrunch in an interview, “A platform that is aimed at India 2 and has such a large user base of women, when most people online in India are predominantly men, that is a remarkable achievement.”
The company also claimed to help thousands of people earning more than Rs 25,000 people per month. The company had earlier expressed its plan to expand Meesho to a global level. As WhatsApp is playing a crucial role in Meesho, the startup is likely to engage with other social media platforms and being a partner of Facebook has its own advantage.
“Wherever we believe there is opportunity beyond the work we do today, we are open to exploring further investment deals,” Mohan told Tech Crunch. There is no particular category that Facebook is necessarily looking at, however.
Antecedent to Facebook, Twitter has backed social media platform ShareChat, Google has invested in hyperlocal concierge app Dunzo.
Neither Facebook nor Meesho, which prior to this announcement had raised about $65 million from a number of investors, including DST Partners, RPS Ventures and Shunwei Capital, shared financial terms of the deal. A source familiar with the matter told TechCrunch that the capital was “very significant.”