Value commerce platform Meesho is the latest to join the government’s Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), which helps connect buyers with hyperlocal sellers. The integration will boost product discovery for consumers, while creating a wider marketplace for hyperlocal suppliers, Meesho said in a statement.
SoftBank-backed Unicorn will launch the pilot in Bengaluru, and roll out the service to other locations over the next few months. Over 80% of Meesho’s 140 million users and nearly 40% of its 800,000 sellers are from Tier 2+ cities. The ONDC integration will only expand its core product offering, and allow sellers to reach a wider demographic.
Commenting on the development, Vidit Atre, Founder and CEO, Meesho said, “With the shared goal of empowering small sellers and promoting hyperlocal businesses, the integration will boost our efforts to democratize internet commerce for all.”
“ONDC will also play a key role in expanding India’s e-commerce sector by bringing more consumers online. We are working closely with ONDC to ensure that the integration is seamless and the user experience remains seamless.”
Prior to Meesho, e-commerce platforms including Paytm Mall and Coutloot had also joined ONDC to democratize online shopping. Start-ups such as Dunzo, LoadShare and Shiprocket are handling logistics and delivery on the ONDC platform.
On joining Meesho, ONDC CEO T Koshy said, “At ONDC, we aim to create an open e-commerce ecosystem that serves the needs of all. We are delighted to have Meesho on board as its deep capabilities in smaller cities will accelerate the network flywheel and move ONDC closer to our goals. E-commerce is still small in India and new age platforms like Meesho will be strong network partners for ONDC in this journey.
With ONDC, the government hopes to replicate the success it had with UPI, and end the Flipkart-Amazon monopoly in Indian e-commerce.
Earlier, at the India Today Conclave Mumbai 2022, Koshy said, “There are two parts to any transaction – money, and goods and services. NPCI brought democratization in money transactions. It showed us that money is not someone’s private property or a closed loop. We expect ONDC to do the same for goods and services.”
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