Facebook has invested in Indian social commerce startup Meesho, marking the first time the social network took equity in a startup from that country.
According to a TechCrunch report, 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.
Meesho is an online marketplace that connects sellers with customers on social media platforms such as WhatsApp. The four-year-old startup claims to have a network of more than two million resellers who largely deal with apparel, home appliances and electronics items.
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 has most of its customers in smaller cities and towns, popularly dubbed as India 2, where most users are still not online. These are two things that attracted Facebook to Meesho, Ajit Mohan, VP and managing director of Facebook India, told the publication 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 — is a remarkable achievement,” he said.