18 March 2024

The Story of Meesho: From Humble Beginnings to Unicorn Status


Meesho, a name synonymous with social commerce in India, boasts a remarkable journey – from a failed on-demand delivery service to a billion-dollar company. This blog delves into the origin story, the innovative approach, and the phenomenal rise of Meesho, a true champion of empowering micro-entrepreneurs.

Founders and Early Days (2015):

Meesho co-founders Sanjeev Barnwal (left) and Vidit Aatrey.

The story begins in 2015 with two IIT Delhi graduates, Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal. Their initial venture, Fashnear Technologies Private Limited, aimed to provide an on-demand delivery service for fashion products from local shops. However, the concept failed to gain traction in the market.

The Pivot to Meesho (2016):

Undeterred by the initial setback, Aatrey and Barnwal decided to pivot their focus. Recognizing the growing internet penetration and social media usage in India, they envisioned Meesho in 2016. The new platform aimed to empower individuals to become resellers by leveraging social media networks.

The Core Concept: Social Commerce


Meesho operates on a simple yet powerful model – social commerce. They bridge the gap between suppliers, resellers (often referred to as “Meesho sellers”), and customers. Here’s how it works:

  • Suppliers: Meesho partners with a vast network of wholesalers and manufacturers across India, offering a wide variety of products across categories like fashion, homeware, electronics, and more.
  • Resellers: Individuals can sign up as Meesho sellers with minimal investment. They can then browse the Meesho catalog, choose products, and share them on their social media platforms (WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram) with their network of friends, family, and followers.
  • Customers: Customers discover products through Meesho sellers’ social media posts. They can then place orders directly with the seller on the Meesho platform. Meesho handles the entire transaction process, including payment collection and delivery.

Building the Ecosystem:

Meesho created a win-win situation for all stakeholders. Suppliers gained access to a wider customer base through the vast network of resellers. Resellers were empowered to start their own online businesses with minimal investment and risk. Customers enjoyed access to a wide variety of products at competitive prices and the convenience of social commerce.

Growth and Recognition (2016-Present):

Since its launch, Meesho has witnessed remarkable growth:

  • 2019: Over 200,000 users and 1.2 million orders per month.
  • 2020: User base grew to over 560,000, with 3.1 million monthly orders.
  • 2021-2022: Meesho experienced exponential growth, with its monthly transacting user count increasing by a staggering 26 times.
  • 2023: As of today, Meesho boasts over 120 million monthly active users and is estimated to have a net value exceeding $5 billion, achieving coveted “unicorn” status.

Key Factors Behind Meesho’s Success:

Several factors have contributed to Meesho’s phenomenal rise:

  • Low Barrier to Entry: Meesho requires minimal investment to become a seller, making it accessible to a wide range of individuals, particularly women entrepreneurs in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities.
  • Focus on Vernacular Languages: Meesho provides a user-friendly interface and app support in multiple Indian languages, catering to a broader audience across the country.
  • Social Commerce Advantage: Leveraging social media as a marketing platform allows resellers to tap into their existing network, fostering trust and personalized customer interactions.
  • Technology and Logistics: Meesho has invested heavily in technology to create a seamless user experience. They also partner with reliable logistics providers to ensure efficient product delivery across India.

The Road Ahead for Meesho:


With a strong foundation and a thriving user base, Meesho is poised for continued growth. The company is constantly innovating, exploring new features such as live streaming and video commerce to further empower resellers and enhance the shopping experience.


Meesho’s story is an inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs. It exemplifies how innovation, a deep understanding of the market, and a focus on empowering individuals can lead to extraordinary success. As Meesho continues its journey, it’s certain to play a significant role in shaping the future of e-commerce in India.

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