Trial & error: How India’s new unicorn Meesho cracked social commerce code


Indian Institute of Know-how-Delhi batchmates Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal at all times needed to resolve issues.
Years after graduating, the 2 took the entrepreneurial plunge and based Meesho in December 2015 with a easy objective — to assist small companies get on-line and promote by means of social media platforms akin to WhatsApp, Fb and Instagram.
The beginning-up on Monday turned the fifth Indian uni­corn of 2021 after elevating $300 million from Softbank, a bit of over 5 years after inception.
“We simply began with one format of enabling ladies to start out their subsequent trend boutique promoting on social platforms, and during the last 4 years we’ve empowered greater than 13 million ladies entrepreneurs to return on-line and turn into profitable by our platform,” stated CEO Aatrey in a video handle after the recent fundraise.
The highway to success, tho­ugh, wasn’t so easy. After graduating, Aatrey went on to hitch InMobi, whereas Barnwal honed his know-how expertise at Samsung and Sony. Each then obtained collectively to start out FashNear, which helped customers discover trend shops close by, and the corporate curated the stock by means of an app catalogue.
This was helpful for purchasers, given they might get trend merchandise on demand, Aviral Bhatnagar of A Junior VC wrote in a 2018 put up.
In 2016, they pivoted the mannequin to permit small companies to arrange a web-based store, whereas facilitating sharing on on-line media, and that’s how Meesho was born. The primary buyer of Meesho obtained the supply of a T-shirt from Barnwal himself. His daughter took to Twitter on Monday to say that her father had stored the T-shirt “as a joke” to put on when Meesho turned value a billion {dollars}.
The recent funding spherical — which greater than doubled its valuation — was led by SoftBank Imaginative and prescient Fund 2, valuing the agency at $2.1 billion. It hit the headlines in 2019 for being the primary firm in India that attracted funding from Fb.
“We take satisfaction on the charge of velocity and the dimensions at which Meesho has grown, positively impacting hundreds of thousands of lives, and creating exponential studying alongside the way in which,” stated Aatrey.


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