Startup Stories

Being an IITian with a job at Microsoft; What made Vidit Aatrey start Meesho?

India’s fastest-growing internet commerce company, Meesho wants to make eCommerce accessible to all. What started, six years ago, as a reseller-focused platform enabling millions to sell online, has now emerged as a single ecosystem connecting sellers, to consumers and entrepreneurs. Their vision is to enable 100 million small businesses in India, including individual entrepreneurs, to succeed online.

Company Highlights: Meesho

Company Name- Meesho
Founders-Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal
Industry-Technology, Information, and the Internet
Competitors-Volusion, Elenas, DealShare
Funding- $1.1B

Meesho Startup Story

Meesho was earlier known as Fashnear when it was started in 2015. The idea behind the startup was just like Zomato or Swiggy, to allow customers to buy clothes and accessories from the shops near their locality. The customers could register themselves on the app, then place the order, and the order would be delivered at their place. By the end of the year, the founders realized that there were a lot of flaws in the business model of the startup and thus, it was renamed ‘Meesho’ with a new business model. 

Revenue Model of Meesho

The major sources of revenue for Meesho are commissions, advertisements, logistics, and data. 

The commission is charged from the vendors. When a reseller sells a product through Meesho, the seller of the product is charged with a certain amount of commission. As per the company’s website, 0% commission is charged from the suppliers on certain categories of products. No commission is charged from the resellers. 

Meesho offers logistics services to the suppliers and charges a fee for the same. 

Through advertisements, a portion of revenue is earned. Sellers who want to increase the selling of their products pay a certain amount to the platform to advertise their products.

As we all know, data is the new oil, and data certainly offers an income stream for Meesho. Meesho did not break any privacy policies, and they are only allowed to sell data that does not infringe any privacy issues.

Challenges Faced by Meesho

Meesho faced a number of challenges in the journey. The initial one was when it was starting. In 2015, online retailing was becoming popular, but had several obstacles. As the startup was just gaining its platform, the pandemic struck hard. The majority of their revenue was impacted by Covid. As a result, during the first several weeks, their exclusive emphasis was on establishing a basic logistical network. This was a difficult task because each state has its own set of laws for vehicle admission and exit. 

Meesho has recently fired around 150 employees, as of April 11, 2022, due to a restructuring initiative of the Meesho Superstore grocery delivery service. The eCommerce unicorn is looking forward to restructuring its grocery business and bringing in efficiencies. This has led to the laying off of a small number of the full-time Meesho employees and the reassessing of some third-party contractual roles in order to remove redundancies with the core Meesho business and its operations.

Future Plans of Meesho

By the end of this year, Meesho hopes to have 100 million transactional users per month. It plans to use the funds to expand the product and their skills, and become India’s preferred application for users, entrepreneurs, etc. 

Farmiso, which is Meesho Grocery, is also trying to extend its grocery service to over 200 cities. The startup is enabling first-time customers in India’s tier II markets to purchase from a large assortment of foods at ticket sizes as low as $1-2 by making online grocery shopping cheap.


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