Facebook puts $25 m in Meesho
With equity investment, it looks to drive entrepreneurship among women, in small towns.
Sources in the know said the investment is in the $20-25 million range. However, both Facebook and Meesho did not disclose the deal amount. Meesho has been in talks to raise a $100 million financing round for the past few months, sources said.
Ajit Mohan, MD, Facebook India, said it will bet more on local startups to reach audiences beyond the big cities and fuel the India internet story.
Meesho provides resellers, who largely comprise housewives and small businesses, with a platform to sell their products across social networks like WhatsApp and Facebook.
It is backed by Sequoia Capital, Shunwei Capital and Apoletto Asia among others, and has raised $50 million in a Series-C round at a valuation of $200-250 million.
Other investors include former SoftBank executive Kabir Mishra’s RPS Ventures, SAIF Partners, Venture Highway and Y Combinator.
“An equity investment like this is a first in India. We were excited about the founders and what they have built in such a short time. A lot of their focus is in on tier-II and III (cities). Also, among their 2 million resellers, 80% are women, which is the most exciting part for us,” Mohan told ET. “Beyond what we do every day with our family of apps, this was an opportunity to provide support by taking a financial stake.”
There is no exclusivity built into the investment for both the companies. “We have participated in fuelling India Internet and now want to play a clear and direct role in propelling job creation. While there is no India fund we are setting, we will be open to such investments,” Mohan said.