How Data-Driven Instamojo Is Solving Issues Around Digital Payments

Bangalore-based Instamojo Technologies has been working towards solving the issues around digital payments in India with their on-demand payments and e-commerce platform since 2012. Started by Sampad Swain along with Akash Gehani and Aditya Sengupta, Instamojo made its mark in the financial technology space and has a client base of more than 3,00,000 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and businesses across the country, which have adopted the digital payment and e-commerce platform.

“Instamojo was started in 2012 as an idea to allow very small businesses (or MSMEs: Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) to collect payments with sharing just a link. Getting a payment gateway and understanding the technicalities and documentation around it is almost impossible for a small business,” said Ankur Sharma, Head of Analytics at Instamojo while speaking with Analytics India Magazine. “The growth story has been phenomenal, with more than 300,000 businesses using Instamojo to grow their business,” he added.

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Instamojo’s Analytics and challenges:

The three-member analytics team not just captures a lot of demographic and behavioural data of all its users and transaction, but also all the data that is generated by various SaaS tools it uses for marketing, sales and support.  Ankur said: “All our analytics is built around this data. This helps us in monitoring health of our business, diagnosing issues at various stages of business, optimising user lifecycle and funnels and monitoring performance of different functions.”

“We also use analytics to understand the performance of new features, estimating the perceived benefits of a new idea, and even in personalized engagement with our users. We do a lot of A/B testing to facilitate this.”

Speaking of the challenges that the company faces in terms of analytics, Ankur explains how the primary challenge remains to inculcate data-driven thinking throughout the organisation. “When there is no analytics, people tend to take primarily assumption/hypothesis-driven decisions and we had to work extra hard to convince people in various functions to start appreciating the insights data brings and think objectively about everything from a new release to the performance of a marketing campaign,” he said.

The second challenge is to simplify complex analyses in a way that everyone in the team (whether or not they are data or tech savvy) can understand and give feedback on it. Aa Ankur explained, many analyses are, by design, complicated (due to nature of the problem at hand) and they need to be communicated in a story-like fashion, bringing out the complexity in a lucid manner so that people spend less time understanding how an analysis is done and more time in what the analysis actually wants to tell them.

AI at Instamojo

Artificial intelligence is also an integral part of the company. It also uses machine learning algorithms to monitor transactional patterns as well as user profiles of sellers to prevent the onslaught of fraudulent sellers on its platform. “This is an integral part of our platform, which allows us to make sure that purchasing on Instamojo is totally safe and secure, and people can trust the platform. ML is also used to qualify leads to allow our sales team to focus on best quality leads and to help in designing personalized engagement programs (email/notifications etc.) to improve conversions and prevent churn,” Ankur said.

Instamojo – simple, affordable and secure

With its two flagship products – Payment links and Online store, the start-up allows SMEs to start collecting payments from their customer via any channel within 2 minutes without any paperwork. As Ankur put, all it needs is a mobile number and a bank account number (savings or current) to carry out the transaction. The payment links can be shared via email, social media, messengers, blogs, websites, checkout buttons and even APIs.

The Online Store, which is free to use, provides a store-front for SMEs to showcase their products – the users also get checkout, shipping facilities and shopping cart in this interface.

Instamojo allows bulk payment requests, ability to schedule payment requests as well as deep analytics into all your sales in addition to providing secure payment services with industry-standard success rates.

“Instamojo is also venturing into other online commerce enabling services for SMEs such as providing logistics, taxation and lending services in their platform. These services would be as simple to use as payments is today. The mission is to simplify the pain points in the business life of an SME,” Ankur added.

FinTech Analytics for SMEs

After demonetisation, GST and the rapidly rising internet penetration with the launch of Jio, SMEs are increasingly getting aware of a need to bring their services online and give their customers a facility to pay seamlessly. “Fintech is helping them to serve customers all over the world, not wait for days to get their payments and even get loans at the click of a button to increase their business,” Ankur opined.

“Analytics is indeed very important for the fin-tech space, given the risks associated with the opening of fin-tech platforms to a very large base of SMEs. Right from optimizing on product offerings to assessing the risk associated with money movement on fragmented unbranded sellers to underwriting of SMEs to give them loans, today fin-tech firms have realized that a strong understanding of internal and industry data is a must to provide them with a competitive edge and help them best serve their customer.

Instamojo recently raised Pre-Series B funding from Japanese payments firm AnyPay. The company will use the funding to expand its suite of offerings and introduce e-commerce enabling services such as cataloguing, logistics, shipping and GST compliance assistance. The company looks to utilise big data too and introduce fin-tech offerings such as lending via third-party providers in the coming months.

Priya Singh
Priya Singh leads the editorial team at AIM and comes with over six years of working experience as a journalist across broadcast and digital platforms. She loves technology and an avid follower of business and startup news. She is also a self-proclaimed baker and a crazy animal lover.

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