In its first-ever equity investment in an Indian start-up, Facebook on Thursday announced an investment in Meesho, a platform that enables Indian entrepreneurs to establish online businesses via social channels.
Although the social networking giant did not disclose the amount, the move by Facebook is seen as a commitment to the country’s vibrant Internet ecosystem.
“We are excited about India and its rapidly rising Internet ecosystem. With this investment in Meesho, we want to fuel a business model that can result in rapid job creation and the rise of a female entrepreneurial class in India,” Ajit Mohan, Vice President and Managing Director, Facebook India, said in a statement.
Facebook in 2017 introduced a programme for women-founded companies – SheLeads Tech – to support them with access to community, tools, mentorship and resources to succeed in building a business in technology.
“We love that the company is translating the power of online communities to expand economic opportunity for all of India, and especially women,” Mohan added.
According to Vidit Aatrey, Co-Founder, Meesho, the company has grown from its humble beginnings at IIT to 15,000 suppliers and 2,000,000 resellers throughout India in just four years.
“We share a common goal with Facebook – to enable community and help small businesses grow. This commitment from Facebook will help us leapfrog towards our goal,” said Aatrey.
India is the third largest start-up market globally and with its start-up initiatives like SheLeads Tech, Code for the Next Billion, India Innovation Hub and more, Facebook has come to discover that the start-up phenomenon is rapidly expanding to smaller cities.