Meesho plans branded goods biz, eyes brand makeover

Bangalore/Mumbai: Social commerce platform Meesho, which is largely known for selling non-branded products, is looking to foray into the branded products segment, as it expands its direct-to-consumer (D2C) e-commerce business.

According to company sources, about 80 percent of Meesho’s users and 65 percent of the transaction users are from its direct selling business.

Now, it is looking to capture a bigger wallet share by going after “affordable brands” in categories like beauty and electronics, said sources aware of the matter.

This category is being called Meesho Brands and the company has already started hiring people for business through professional networking site LinkedIn to identify brand partners to grow the business.

The SoftBank-backed startup was largely stuck selling long-tail unbranded categories like apparel, jewellery, footwear and electronics. ET reported last year that the platform, which largely relied on women resellers, would sell directly to customers.

Meesho’s attempt to sell branded goods comes at a time when it is trying to take on bigger rivals like Flipkart and Amazon India.

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According to people familiar with Meesho’s thinking, potential affordable brands could be electronics company Boat or footwear firm Relaxo, where there is a degree of awareness and trust among customers.

A Meesho spokesperson declined to comment. Nao and Relaxo did not respond to emails.

A job posting on LinkedIn revealed that the role requires identifying “potential brand partnerships and onboarding these brands as users on the platform.”

Sources familiar with Meesho’s plans told ET that the Bengaluru-based company has started work on rebranding its logo and moving away from pink to attract male users.

This is also an attempt to attract men to Meesho, which has hitherto been known for its women’s wear, people reported.

A source familiar with the matter said that the company had already benchmarked some shades.

“They are unlikely to go with blue, yellow, orange or green as it is already linked to other companies like Flipkart, Amazon, Swiggy and Dunzo,” said the source.

Meanwhile, the Meta-backed firm said last week that it has inked sponsorship deals with several Indian Premier League (IPL) teams and Star Sports to advertise during the IPL season beginning later this month. This is also being seen as an attempt by the company to reach out to male users.

Meesho plans to have more brands on its platform and broaden its audience while the company is in talks with multiple investors for a new funding round. However, the details of this round have not been finalized yet.

Meesho raised $570 million in September last year at a valuation of $4.9 billion, led by Fidelity and B Capital.

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