Indian-origin social commerce online marketplace Meesho has secured $125m in a funding round led by internet and media group Naspers.
Other investors who participated in the funding round include Facebook, SAIF, Sequoia, Shunwei Capital, RPS and Venture Highway, along with former Vodafone Group CEO Sir Arun Sarin.
The company will use the investment to expand the company’s presence outside major metro regions in India by creating new entrepreneurs and reaching customers not served by traditional e-commerce marketplaces.
The online marketplace expects to grow its community of women entrepreneurs, who lack funds and expertise to run their own businesses.
Meesho co-founder and CEO Vidit Aatrey said: “I am particularly proud that Meesho has cut across gender, education levels, risk appetites and vocations to create livelihoods for people with no investment of their own.
“Our social sellers are small retailers, women, students and retired citizens, with 70% being homemakers who have found financial freedom and a business identity without having to step outside their homes.”
Leveraging the investment, Meesho also intends to establish its technology platform to accommodate new product lines, as well as evolve its analytics and machine learning platforms.
The company is planning to expand its operations in existing geographies.
Meesho platform currently has more than two million ‘social sellers’ and 15,000 suppliers from across 700 towns in India.
The platform allows independent resellers to establish small businesses and connect with suppliers in order to source a range of goods and services to sell within their social networks on WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram.
The ‘social sellers’ can also access logistics and payment tools through the platform.