Meesho plans to launch live commerce biz by the end of the year

New Delhi Meesho is running a pilot to commercially launch its live commerce business by the end of December and add value and regional brands to its platform to boost ad revenue ahead of a planned public listing early next year. It has been, two people close to the development said.

The e-commerce startup, which counts SoftBank Group and Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s B Capital Group among its investors, aims to “be internally ready for an IPO by the end of this year and early next year.” I have to issue it”. Said above on condition of anonymity.

He said Meesho is looking for either a domestic listing or a SPAC-listing in the US.

SPAC, which stands for Special Purpose Acquisition Company, is a publicly traded company formed to acquire or merge an existing company.

Launching live commerce is one of the major initiatives that Meesho wants to take ahead of its share sale. Live commerce is said to have become a major sales channel for the retail industry as it links the immediate purchase of a particular product and audience participation through a chat function or feedback button.

It is popular in China led by Taobao, an online shopping platform owned by Alibaba. According to a McKinsey report released last year, in a 2020 survey, two-thirds of Chinese consumers said they had purchased products via livestream in the past year.

The concept of live commerce is gaining momentum in India as well. In February, Walmart-owned Flipkart started live commerce. Last year, InMobi-owned short-video platform Roposo pivoted to live commerce.

Meesho is working on another initiative ahead of its public listing, which is to add value and regional brands to its platform to boost advertising revenue, said the individuals cited above. Meesho does not charge any commission from sellers who sell on its platform, making advertising revenue critical to its operations. About 95% of the products sold on Meesho are unbranded. However, in the beauty and electronics categories, it wants to tie up with established brands as customers look for the trust factor to buy such brands, said one of the people mentioned above.

The person said the e-commerce firm is also raising a fresh round of funding even though it has enough cash in the bank. The primary reason for fundraising is to make acquisitions, he explained. He said the plan is in the initial stage and is not likely to see any activity in the next two to three months.

Meesho declined to comment.

Meesho is one of the most funded startups in the ecosystem. In April 2021, it raised $300 million in a new funding round led by SoftBank. This investment round turned Meesho into a unicorn or privately held startup with a valuation of at least $1 billion. A few months later, it raised $570 million led by Fidelity Management & Research, and B Capital Group, raising the valuation of the Bengaluru-based startup to $4.9 billion from $2.2 billion in April. Meesho’s massive fundraising last year was part of the hectic deal making activity seen last year as most new-age tech businesses received tailwinds from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Meesho, founded in 2015 by Indian Institute of Technology Delhi alumni Vidit Atre and Sanjeev Barnwal, has been a beneficiary of the pandemic itself and when it started as a social commerce firm, it was an e-commerce platform to directly challenge companies. firm has been formed. As Flipkart and Amazon.

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