What’s a better way to celebrate the arrival of the new fiscal than with big-ticket funding deals?
India now has a new unicorn as Meesho, a social commerce platform, raised $300 million in a new round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2. The company’s valuation is now at $2.1 billion. With this funding, the startup plans to build a single digital ecosystem for 100 million small businesses.
This is the fourth Indian startup to enter the coveted billion-dollar club this year, following Digit Insurance, Innovaccer, and Five Star Business.
Over the years, Meesho has been targeting individual businesses owned and run by women entrepreneurs and homepreneurs who became successful and financially independent. The startup has enabled over 13 million individual entrepreneurs to start their own online business with no investment.
Swiggy has raised $800 million in a round led by Falcon Edge, Amansa Capital, Think Investments, Carmignac, and Goldman Sachs. A source has confirmed to YS that with this funding, the company’s valuation has now touched $5 billion.
This mega fund raise was after the startup launched Genie and Instamart that helped Swiggy complete 100 million orders till October 2020 after the coronavirus-induced lockdown led to a drop in orders.
Last year, it also introduced Health Hub, a health food discovery feature, which offers around 90,000 healthy dishes, as consumers are becoming more health-conscious.
More than 20 years ago, Chandrashekhar Ghosh first started microfinance operations for women in rural West Bengal to provide financial services to the underbanked community. Today, Bandhan Bank has more than 15 million women customers who make up two-thirds of the bank’s total customer base of 22 million.
Editor’s Pick: Techie Tuesday
Prashant Gade is a philosopher first and an inventor second. The founder of Inali Foundation, a not-for-profit enterprise that provides low-cost prosthetic arms, Prashant makes life easier for people who have lost both or either of their upper limbs by designing and perfecting affordable 3D-printed prosthetic arms. Through Inali Foundation, he has been able to enable more than 3,500 people to work and live life independently. Read more.
Over the last couple of years, India has seen a spurt in the growth of digital banks. Taking neobanking to the next level, app-based digital bank Finin focuses on every individual user’s lifestyle and financial reality with easy savings, a unified account view, and automated money management. Read more.
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“We wanted to give every small business in India their own online store…Today, millions of users are using Meesho to sell their products across several categories.”