Before the pandemic, the platform launched by Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev Bamwal was led by 15 million women sellers who bought products from the platform and resold them via WhatsApp and Facebook Groups. Now, it has a share of about 30 per cent of daily online deliveries. Out of the 9 million daily e-commerce orders, Meesho holds 2.7 million which is a giant leap for the platform.
Meesho is designed mainly for solo entrepreneurs and small businesses. The platform ventured into this space in 2015 but it was not so easy to convince small entrepreneurs to sell online because their customers were not online. However, this landscape changed with the digital boom accelerated by the covid-19 pandemic.
Why Meesho is called a social commerce platform? Because it has been nurtured by women resellers who attained financial independence with Meesho. From 2017 to 2020, 100 per cent of sales of Meesho was done through resellers. That has changed now as consumers have begun to install the Meesho app. On average, 110 million shoppers in India used Meesho last year.
The app has also supported many small entrepreneurs to establish their businesses. Meesho CEO Aatrey has been working on the GST issues of small entrepreneurs. In India, many sellers can’t go online due to the requisite GST number. This year, the GST Council cleared a proposal that will no longer seek a GST requisite for sellers on e-commerce platforms if their turnover is less than Rs 40 lakh and Rs 20 lakh for goods and services respectively. This will come into effect in January next year.
After its latest fundraising of $570 million in September 2021, Meesho is valued at $4.9 bn. Soft Bank Vision Fund 2, Prosus, Fidelity Management and Research, Yuri Milner’s DST Partners, Sequoia, SAIF Partners and Y Combinator are some of its investors. The unicorn’s future plans include becoming profitable in the next few years and adding 100 million small sellers across India.