Meesho, a Bangalore based social commerce startup has raised $300 million in new funding led by SoftBank Group’s Vision Fund 2, valuing the startup at $2.1 billion.
Current investors include Prosus Ventures and Facebook is also a part of the fresh investment round. Meesho manages an online sales platform for micro, small and medium businesses throughout India, which will use the funds to build up its talent pool throughout all areas, as well technology, product and business.
“SoftBank has always been excited to back founders that provide unique solutions for the local market. By using the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning, Meesho has created a platform for many small business owners to sell to the next cohort of internet users,” Munish Varma, the managing partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers said.
Masayoshi Son, the founder of SoftBank has always talked about the transformative possibility of AI to push innovation and business opportunity. His second Vision Fund had been in doubt a year back among losses at its predecessor from investments in the likes of WeWork and Uber, but improvements along the company’s portfolio companies as it had offered him the confidence and capital to get back to investing aggressively in developing startups.
Meesho serves more than 13 million individual entrepreneurs in helping them to begin online businesses. The software developer has given orders from over 100,000 registered suppliers to more than 4,800 cities, going after a strategy of taking e-commerce to smaller cities and towns past the metropolitan areas which are already covered by the big online retailers.