Flush with funds, Meesho now eyes e-grocery biz


Not too long ago topped unicorn and social commerce app Meesho plans to make use of funds from its newest $300 million fundraise to foray into the hotly contested on-line groceries enterprise over the subsequent 18 months.

The Bengaluru-headquartered startup will deal with bringing small-time grocers in tier 2 and three cities on-line, taking over deep-pocketed giants like Amazon, Reliance, Fb, Walmart-backed Flipkart and BigBasket for a chunk of this huge unorganised retail pie in India.

“Ultimately, our purpose is to allow every kind of small companies to return on-line. However, for the subsequent 18 months a excessive quantity of focus might be solely on grocery. There, our focus is to convey kiranas on-line,” Meesho CEO Vidit Aatrey informed BusinessToday.In.

India’s fast-growing e-commerce market is seen rising by 30% a yr to $200 billion by 2026. Additional, the pandemic accelerated e-grocery gross sales within the nation as Indians started shopping for important gadgets on-line in a bid to keep away from catching the coronavirus.

Calling grocery one of many largest small enterprise codecs within the nation, he mentioned the staff is making an attempt to determine easy methods to convey kiranas on-line by providing companies ranging from sourcing, logistics, entry to choice, affordability of merchandise, digitising their shops and enabling straightforward shopping for expertise for patrons.

“We’ll make investments quite a bit in expertise to make that course of straightforward. Up to now, on-line grocery has been a largely tier-1 phenomenon. There aren’t any massive e-commerce grocery gamers in smaller cities. That is a big area we’ll go after,” he mentioned.

BigBasket, by which the Tata Group is reportedly making an attempt to purchase a majority stake, and Amazon India present fast supply of groceries within the bigger cities.

Billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance, by which Fb picked up $5.7 billion-worth stake final yr, can also be quick increasing its presence on this enterprise with its JioMart on-line platform. The social community large’s backing is probably going to assist Reliance join grocers on its platform to Fb-owned WhatsApp’s 400 million-strong person base.  

In the meantime, Walmart-backed Flipkart has expanded on-line grocery gross sales to greater than 50 Indian cities and intends to succeed in over 70 areas by September 2021.

Aatrey mentioned Meesho may even develop its staff, particularly the expertise and merchandise roles, over the subsequent two years to fulfill the brand new objectives. “We need to double our expertise staff over the subsequent 18 months. These are huge funding areas to make use of the brand new capital we have.”  

He mentioned Meesho will rent from engineering schools throughout the nation, together with regional schools. “We go all over the place the place the correct expertise is.”  

The social commerce app, which connects 13 million small companies to prospects throughout the nation by social media platforms like Fb and Instagram, largely has ladies entrepreneurs promoting style and attire gadgets. The app desires to succeed in 100 million particular person companies. It just lately raised $300 million from SoftBank Imaginative and prescient Fund 2 at a valuation of $2.1 billion.

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