Startup Circle: How has Instamojo brought about digital empowerment to MSMEs?

Laxitha Mundhra
New Update
Startup Circle: How has Instamojo brought about digital empowerment to MSMEs?

As businesses move online, they face the brunt of options in their digitization process. But various, companies, that used Instamojo have commented on its features. The products like payments, free online store, logistics, credit, and financing, etc., across mobile & web, has helped many micro-entrepreneurs, startups, MSMEs to instantly start, sell, manage and grow.


Thus, today, at CiOL, we talk to Akash Gehani, Co-Founder & COO, to know more about the startup.

What is Instamojo about? Tell us about the team.

Founded by Sampad Swain, Aditya Sengupta and myself in 2012, Instamojo is a full-stack solutions provider, digitally empowering the MSME sector of India. Along with payments, we also offer a free online store which comes loaded with e-commerce features, allowing merchants to sell goods online. Lending, logistics services, credit book and free online courses on business are some of the other services our platform offers. With more than 1 million merchants and counting, we are one of the fastest-growing platforms for MSMEs and SMEs.


How did you come up with the idea?

Before founding Instamojo, often we spoke to entrepreneurs, we discovered a growing challenge in terms of digitisation of payments they were facing, creating unforeseen growth obstacles in the future. The idea to come up with a digital payments platform for MSMEs was hence born.

What is the story behind the unique name?


When we came up with the business idea, our first product or service which we wanted to focus on was digital payments. The Indian Fintech sector was then at the start of its journey, and consumers were gradually experiencing the offerings of a fast-paced digital world.

What is your business/market growth?

We started our journey as an on-demand payments platform, offering small business owners digital payment solutions powered by our payment links and took the next step forward with our product expansion - MojoXpress and MojoCapital. Our lending product helped address the Cash-Crunch challenge which several small businesses across the country tackle.


We launched MojoCommerce which provides an avenue for merchants to display their products and services. In January 2019, we closed our Series B funding with investors like AnyPay and Gunosy Capital, and the same year we also launched MojoVersity, an online knowledge platform for MSMEs which provides short video courses on the basics of business; and Mojo Developers Platform (MDP), India’s first public API platform for developers and startups. Today, we host 1 million+ merchants on our platform and recently released introduced our new product ‘CreditBook’ to help digitize transaction records for 1 million SMEs.

Early this year, we acquired ‘GetMeAShop’ (GMAS) a digital commerce platform for MSMEs and expanded our suite of offerings to enable business owners with web presence tools to start, manage and grow their business in the rapidly growing tech ecosystem. Further, we launched Sachet loans on WhatsApp, where merchants can avail byte-sized loans through a series of messages on WhatsApp; followed by InstaCash, a feature that enables to get instant access to working capital, and ensure business continuity; and MojoPlus a loyalty rewards programme for Instamojo merchants. We have partnered with Google India, as part of their Grow with Google program to provide small business owners, the necessary digital tools to do business at ease.

The pandemic has affected every sector. How are you coping?


The pandemic has indeed impacted every sector. Fortunately, the year has turned out to be fairly well for us. We had mostly recovered from the sharp fall we saw during the lockdown, and from here onwards, things should only get better. The lockdown has, in fact, accelerated the need for digital payments, which has created a strong pavement for us. We have seen significant adoption in users shifting online and recorded about a 30% growth in the number of merchant sign-ups on our platform for transactions, and we expect that to continue. Also, we turned profitable this year, too.

You cater to a very wide market. Who are your customers?

We are focussed towards empowering the MSMEs in the country. Our customers are primarily small business entrepreneurs across various industries – basically, anybody who wants to start their own business – individuals and enterprises.


What are your Post-Covid plans?

We have done quite a few product launches in the past quarter, and plan to continue on those lines. Like, we have been seeing more merchants, more interest and more adoption. There are significant launches lined up for the next couple of quarters. We foresee more digitization and adoption of technology across the economy. Thus, we are looking at solving more problems for our merchants through more products.


We are a funded company, we raised our Series A funding of $2.6 million in November 2014. In January 2019, we received our Series B funding of $7 million.