| 28 February 2024, Wednesday |

Facebook-backed Indian startup Meesho targets early 2023 for IPO

Meesho, an Indian business backed by Facebook-owner Meta Platforms and SoftBank Group’s Vision Fund 2, plans to go public in early 2023, according to a source familiar with the situation.

According to an internal document seen by Reuters, the Bengaluru-based social commerce platform is trying to be ready for a listing by the end of 2022 and is considering both Indian and U.S. markets.

Meesho secured $570 million in a Series F fundraising round headed by Fidelity Management & Research Company and B Capital Group in September, at a valuation of $4.9 billion.

Resellers on the company’s platform offer a variety of unbranded products, ranging from clothes to cosmetics to household appliances, predominantly in the country’s smaller towns and cities.

Users can resell products from the supplier marketplace for a profit margin to customers, largely through Meta-owned platforms WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram.

“Meesho is filing documents by January next year and wants to essentially be done with the IPO by the first half of 2023,” the source, who did not want to be named because he is not authorized to talk to media, said.

The company did not respond to multiple requests for comment from Reuters.

Dhiresh Bansal, a former JPMorgan Chase investment banker hired as chief financial officer in November, has been tasked with getting the startup’s books in order and plug in any gaps in finances, the source added.

Meesho had 17.8 million monthly transacting users on its platform as of September, surging from 5.5 million in March.

Indian technology startups listed on the domestic bourses to mixed reception in 2021. While food delivery firm Zomato and cosmetics-to-fashion retailer Nykaa had blockbuster listings, digital payments app Paytm crashed on debut.

Founded in 2015 by Indian Institute of Technology graduates Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal, Meesho also provides logistics and payment tools to sellers.

Facebook’s investment in Meesho in June 2019 was the Silicon Valley giant’s first equity investment in an Indian startup.

The startup also counts Prosus Ventures and Sequoia Capital among its investors.

  • Reuters