According to two individuals familiar with the situation, Meesho is conducting pilots to commercially launch its live commerce operation by the end of December and to add value and regional brands to its platform to enhance advertising income ahead of a projected public offering by early next year.
The e-commerce business, which is backed by SoftBank Group and Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s B Capital Group, plans to be “internally ready for the IPO by the end of this year and float early next year,” according to the persons listed above.
According to Startup news, Meesho is considering a domestic or SPAC listing in the United States.
SPAC stands for special purpose acquisition company and refers to a publicly listed business that was formed to acquire or merge with another firm.
One of the primary objectives that Meesho aims to launch before its share offering is live commerce. Live commerce, which mixes quick buying of a highlighted product with audience engagement via a chat function or response buttons, is reported to have become a key sales channel for the retail sector.
Taobao, Alibaba’s online shopping site, is the most popular in China. According to a McKinsey analysis published last year, two-thirds of Chinese customers indicated they had purchased things via Livestream in the previous year in a 2020 poll.
Live commerce is gaining traction in India as well. Flipkart, which is owned by Walmart, launched live commerce in February. Roposo, an InMobi-owned short-video platform, switched to live commerce last year.
According to the people stated above, another endeavorMeesho is embarking on ahead of its public offering is to add value and regional brands to its platform to improve advertising income. Because Meesho does not charge a fee to sellers that sell on its platform, advertising income is critical to the company’s survival. Meesho sells unbranded items in the majority of cases. However, it wants to partner with renowned brands in the cosmetics and electronics sectors, since shoppers search for the trust factor when purchasing such goods, according to one of the sources mentioned above.
The e-commerce company is also searching for a new round of investment, despite having enough cash on hand, according to the source. He indicated that the major goal of the fundraising is to make an acquisition. He claimed the proposal is still in its early stages and that it is unlikely to see any action in the next two to three months.
Meesho remained silent.
Meesho is one of the ecosystem’s most well-funded firms. It got $300 million in a fresh fundraising round headed by SoftBank in April 2021. Meesho became a unicorn, or a privately owned startup with a valuation of at least $1 billion, as a result of this funding round. It secured another $570 million a few months later, headed by Fidelity Management and Research and B Capital Group, bringing the Bengaluru-based startup’s valuation to $4.9 billion, up from $2.2 billion in April. Last year, Meesho’s enormous funding was part of a flurry of deal-making activity, as most new-age digital companies benefited from the covid-19 epidemic.
Meesho, which was launched in 2015 by Indian Institute of Technology Delhi grads ViditAatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal, has benefited from the epidemic, and while it began as a social commerce platform, it has since evolved into an e-commerce platform that competes directly with Flipkart and Amazon.