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Facebook to buy stake in e-commerce start-up Meesho, 'enable entrepreneurs'

Meesho is a digital platform on which re-sellers reach prospective customers via social media platforms.

Sankalp Phartiyal | Reuters  |  Mumbai 

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Facebook invests in Indian digital platform, Meesho.

is buying a stake in Indian e-commerce start-up Meesho, the head of the U.S. tech giant's Indian business said on Thursday, looking to deepen its reach in one of the world's biggest internet markets.

Meesho, a digital platform on which re-sellers of everything from jewellery to mobile phones reach prospective customers via social media platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, already has about 2 million entrepreneurs focused on India's smaller towns and cities, the vice-president and managing director at India told Reuters.

"It reflects the new India that is showing up on the Internet," Ajit Mohan said.

He declined to disclose the value of Facebook's investment in or the size of the stake it is acquiring. The investment will help to further its "efforts to enable independent entrepreneurs to build businesses and grow their customer base via social channels", said on its website.

Meesho, founded by two engineering graduates in 2015, has raised more than $65 million in funding and counts Shunwei Capital and DST Partners among its backers.

Mohan said Facebook's investment will help Meesho to maximise its impact on a central plank of India's economic growth agenda by supporting job creation through entrepreneurship.

Social media platforms such as Facebook, its WhatsApp messenger app and Twitter have come under intense scrutiny in India as the federal government looks to tighten rules that could require the to monitor online content around the clock.

India will hold wide consultations with internet before finalising rules to regulate content on social media, New Delhi has said previously.

First Published: Thu, June 13 2019. 18:45 IST