An entrepreneur doesn’t become successful in the blink of an eye. To become successful, an entrepreneur requires an idea, one which will set them apart. That is only the beginning. An idea can strike anyone but what comes after this idea is what makes or breaks the business. Passion is the first and foremost essential. It is followed by grit and a strong work ethic. Open-mindedness and the ability to bounce back from failure are important qualities; essentially coping and handling failure in a smart, strategic and optimistic way.
Instamojo was founded in 2012 by Harshad Sharma, Sampad Swain, Aditya Sengupta and Akash Gehani.Sampad Swain is now the CEO of the company while founder Harshad Sharma is no longer with the company. Instamojo is a Bangalore-based digital payment gateway and e-commerce store company. It targets the digital selling of goods and paying the fee online. Anyone with a bank account can enroll themselves at Instamojo and sell or buy goods on this digital platform. Instamojo handles the payment and delivery aspects of the process. It is simple to use because:
Instamojo started began its journey in 2012 and started to garner some significant traffic by mid-2013. Let’s see how this payment gateway startup mapped its journey to the level at which it is today.
Instamojo was founded by Harshad Sharma, along with his three other friends Sampad Swain, Akash Gehani and Aditya Sengupta in 2012.Sampad Swain stumbled upon this idea when he was facing some trouble raising money through his blogging site InStartup.com. So let’s see how this idea really came to Sampad and what did he do next?
Sampad had worked with companies like Godrej and ITC before starting on his entrepreneurial journey with Instamojo. In 2010 Sampad started working on his side project InStartup.com where he would interview various entrepreneurs and blogged about it.
As time progressed, he was struggling to keep up with the finances as he was not getting paid for what he did. So he decided to accept contributions from people to keep his side project alive.
But when he approached some service providers, he was forced to realise that he would have to set up a website and a payment gateway to accept the contributions. Thinking that it required a lot of work for a side hustle he abandoned this project and moved to DealsandYou, to work on the mobile ads network for SMBs.
In 2012, when this startup didn’t work, Sampad discussed his side project with the cofounders of DealsandYou. It was at that time when this side project became a full-fledged business.
In September 2012, Sampad along with cofounders of DealsandYou founded Instamojo
Now you too can launch a startup. Yes, you heard me right!! All you need to do is learn the relevant skills in the market and start working on your project.
But all businesses go through their ups and downs. Instamojo has faced its fair share of problems. Although it had raised over 30 crores from investors and services 3 lakh businesses across India, the company almost shut down in 2017. This was attributed to the fact that it had last raised money in 2014 and was supposed to raise more in 2016 and failed to do so. The investors pulled out after the demonetization of Indian currency, claiming that they did not know the market anymore.
The company was broke and had to call Kalaari (Capital) to help them out with another $250,000 (Rs. 1.6 crore). This took them through the next six-to-eight months. But that ran out midway into 2017, and Instamojo was once again starved of funds. Within the company, Swain and his team tried to cut costs, the founders gave up their salaries. If they didn’t make a profit, they would be finished.
In August 2017, Instamojo received a fresh round of funding by Japanese payments firm AnyPay. The company had overcome its close call with the end and had bounced back. They are now planning to increase their reach and add many more features to their flourishing business.
Instamojo has gone through 6 rounds of fundings and had raised 8.4 million dollars. It received its latest round of funding on 7th March 2020 from an unknown investor. Some of the major investors of Instamojo are Times Internet, Kalaari Capital, and AnyPay.
The latest acquisition of Instamojo has been of 5 million USD. In February 2020 they acquired Get Me A Shop which is a platform which enables sellers to set up an online store.
So that’s it for today. Hope you liked this episode of startup story. If you wish to know more about other startups then head over to Verzeo’s startup stories.