Meesho- Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal

Meesho, Co-founded by Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal which first opened its doors in 2015, has never looked the same as a company in each year of its existence. Despite this, it is currently regarded as a category-defining business with a valuation of $2.1 billion, putting it on par with Airbnb.

Meesho- Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal

Founders & Meesho Birth

Vidit Aatrey is the co-founder and CEO of Meesho, a social commerce platform. Vidit began his career after receiving his BTech from IIT Delhi, working for ITC and InMobi. Around the year 2015, he wanted to start something different. He came up with the notion to develop a platform where individuals could start and run their businesses from the comfort of their own homes while exploring other choices. Meesho was born as a result of this. Sanjeev Barnwal joined Vidit, and the firm was founded in Bengaluru in 2015. Meesho, which literally means 'Meri Shop' (my shop), creates a digital shop for aspiring entrepreneurs who might otherwise struggle to start a business. Meesho now has over two million vendors on its marketplace, spread throughout 700 Indian cities. Through its platform, it also gives distribution access to additional 20,000 producers. They constructed a 'Swiggy for fashion' when they initially started, where consumers could choose any product from surrounding retailers, try it on, and buy it.

"However, Vidit understood that social media was utilised by many more individuals than e-commerce markets. So the challenge was: how could they get half a billion Indians to shop online using social media? They also discovered that many women utilising the app to establish their own WhatsApp fashion store companies. As a result, he began conversing with them in order to have a better understanding of the situation "

The firm has raised a total of $215.2 million from investors. Y Combinator, Facebook, Naspers, SAIF Partners, Sequoia, Shunwei Capital, and RPS are among the companies that have invested in Meesho. The business intends to utilise the funds to double its technical and product skills, expand its product catalogue to more than 50 million items, and become India's preferred platform for users, entrepreneurs, and sellers. Farmiso (Meesho Grocery), a community grocery buying business, will also extend its grocery and FMCG products to 200+ cities.

Meesho intends to make online grocery shopping accessible to first-time consumers in India's Tier II markets, allowing them to choose from a large range of products for as little as $1-$2. Meesho features approximately 50 lakh products in various categories such as clothing, cosmetics, and home goods. There are over 650 product categories to pick from. Before placing a purchase, you may read reviews and consumer feedback. Women's ethnic clothing, men's top wear, western wear, accessories, and home basics are some of the most popular product categories. Meesho also undertakes frequent quality inspections to guarantee that you receive high-quality items.

It was also a part of the Google Launchpad - Solve for India program's initial cohort. Meesho was recognised to LinkedIn India's Top 25 Startups - 2019 to work for in 2018 and 2019 (for the second year in a row) based on top talent pull, jobseeker interest, and levels of professional engagement with its workers. While the traditional eCommerce model thrives in India, social commerce is gaining traction among both merchants and shoppers. This expansion is being fueled by the opportunity to develop high levels of brand loyalty, trust, engagement, and low customer acquisition costs, among other things. When Vidit spoke with these women, he discovered that they all shared a similar experience. After getting married or having children, he discovered that many of them had stopped working. However, they all thought they had good fashion sense and aspired to launch their own label.

"Traditionally, these women's access to finance was a problem. They needed money to buy things to resale from a wholesale market.

The women would profit from their role as intermediaries. It was never simple, though. Cash on delivery, transportation, inventory management, content curation, and other responsibilities was not simple. So, for Vidit and Meesho, the solution was to create a platform that would allow these women and others to have simple access to products, logistical services, payment interfaces, marketing tools, and so on - all through the Meesho platform.

Social commerce in the future

"Investors were first skeptical about social commerce, but today every company, even the largest, has a WhatsApp strategy. It has become commonplace. People are also using WhatsApp to communicate with kirana businesses and restaurants in order to arrange orders. Other social media channels for eCommerce, such as Instagram and YouTube, are also growing in popularity "he said

Vidit's adventure has just begun.