NEW DELHI: Indian e-commerce startup Meesho has marked a major milestone by posting its first-ever profit. Looking ahead, the company is aiming for a stock market listing in the next 12 to 18 months, according to a senior company executive.
Meesho, a rising star in India’s dynamic e-commerce scene, goes head-to-head with big players like Amazon and Walmart’s Flipkart. By focusing on smaller towns and cities with unbranded products like clothes and cosmetics, Meesho’s website has become increasingly popular. According to PitchBook data, the company was valued at nearly $7 billion.
Since its inception in 2015, Meesho had been posting losses until it recently turned things around. Backed by Japan’s SoftBank, the company recorded profits for the first time last month.
Between January and June, Meesho’s revenue crossed $400 million. Chief Financial Officer Dhiresh Bansal is optimistic, expecting the figure to reach $800 million by year’s end. In a recent interview with Reuters, he said, “Since we just turned from negative to positive, it’s a small nominal kind of number… We intend to continue the profitability trajectory.”
An initial public offering (IPO) is now on the horizon, planned within the next 12 to 18 months. “We feel that the growth, scale, and profitability are there [for an IPO], but you also want to make sure that there is enough of a track record for market investors to look at,” Bansal added.
Founded by Indian Institute of Technology graduates Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal, Meesho has achieved more than 1 billion orders in the last 12 months.
This news of Meesho’s first profit comes at a crucial time. Indian startups have faced challenges in raising funds due to higher interest rates and a global tech market rout. Many have been forced to cut costs and lay off employees.
Last week, Indian food delivery giant Zomato also celebrated its first-ever profit, highlighting a positive trend in the startup ecosystem.