Google in talks to invest in Facebook-backed Indian social commerce Meesho

According to a source familiar with the situation, Google is in talks to invest more than $50 million in Indian social commerce firm Meesho, which just raised $570 million in a funding round. According to another source familiar with the situation, the Android creator has yet to invest in Meesho, despite having sponsored over a half-dozen firms in India.

Meesho is a three-sided marketplace that connects suppliers (manufacturers and distributors) and resellers with customers on social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram. Its early investors include Facebook, B Capital, SoftBank, Sequoia Capital India, Y Combinator, and Elevation Capital. When resellers sell to clients, they buy listed products from suppliers and earn commission on each transaction.

Google in talks to invest in Facebook-backed Indian social commerce Meesho

Women make up over 80% of the platform’s resellers. The goal of the company from the outset has been to assist women in starting their own businesses without the need for any funding. The startup, which, like many other e-commerce businesses, was severely impacted by the pandemic last year, has fully recovered and has recently, had all-time high growth. According to two people who work at Flipkart’s recently launched social commerce operation, Meesho’s recent rapid rise has been the subject of several serious discussions within India’s largest e-commerce firm.

13 million entrepreneurs and over 100,000 suppliers used Meesho as of April this year, according to the startup’s CEO Vidit Aatrey, who told TechCrunch last month that the company has “grew 3 xs” since then. The stakes are high in the world’s second-largest internet market, where e-commerce has hardly registered a dent in overall retail. According to Bernstein analysts, the social commerce sector alone is anticipated to be valued at up to $20 billion by 2025, up from around $1 billion to $1.5 billion last year.

“In India, social commerce has the potential to empower over 40 million small business owners.” They claimed that “now, 85 percent of social commerce sellers are modest, offline-oriented merchants who use social channels to open up new growth options.” Google has also supported Indian firms Glance and DailyHunt, as part of a $10 billion investment in 1India over the next few years. SimSim a social commerce business bought YouTube in July of this year. The business financed Bangalore-based neo banking startup Open earlier this month.