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With Fresh Funding, Meesho Looks To Help Small Businesses Connect With Customers On WhatsApp, Facebook

With Fresh Funding, Meesho Looks To Help Small Businesses Connect With Customers On WhatsApp, Facebook

Bengaluru-based Meesho, an app which helps merchants to manage their ecommerce businesses on WhatsApp and Facebook has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from a group of angel investors.

This round saw participation from VH Capital, Kashyap Deorah, Rajul Garg, Oyo Rooms’ Maninder Gulati, Abhishek Jain, Jaspreet Bindra among others.

In July 2016, Meesho was selected by YCombinator for a three-month programme based out of its Mountain View headquarters. The accelerator invests $120K in startups for a 7% equity stake in the selected startups.

“With Meesho, communication between merchants and customers is streamlined and less intrusive, which increases the lifetime value of a customer,” said founder Vidit Aatrey.

Founded by IIT graduates Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal, Meesho is a mobile-first ecommerce platform for the specific needs of small businesses in India. Businesses can create an online shop, share on WhatsApp and Facebook. They can keep customers updated with new products, get new customers leads in real-time and collect payments over chat. Meesho presently has about 1000 small business availing its app services.

Once a consumer confirms to buy a product the seller can share a link on Whatsapp and accept payments for the goods sold through various options such as debit and credit cards or mobile wallets. Further, sellers would be able to update consumers about new products via Facebook messenger as well.

Talking about the need for small businesses to connect with customers in new ways, Aatrey said,  “It is very common for SMBs to use WhatsApp groups to keep customers updated on new products and to close transactions over chats. Marketing to your customers through WhatsApp has inherent limitations: every new product requires a separate notification, and pictures of products sent eat up the memory on a customer’s phone. Some merchants send more than 150 messages to customers per day.”

The digital payments industry in India is projected to reach $500 Bn by 2020, contributing 15% to India’s GDP, as a per a recent report by Google and Boston Consulting Group.

According to the report, India has about 50 million registered small businesses and at present, about one million of them are online, mostly selling through Facebook and WhatsApp. It is expected that 10 million of these businesses will be online by 2020.

The development was reported by ET.