Instamojo Launches ‘Request A Payment’ Feature To Make Payments Easier

Instamojo has launched a new feature called Request a Payment. This feature will allow the users to send their customers a request and the link for payment through SMS or e-mail.

The Instapay profile will be prefilled with purpose and amount for each individual customer, making it easy to pay. The customers only need to open mail or message, click link, fill payment details.

Instamojo has enhanced the process with Bulk Requests feature through which bulk payments can be made. Through this, you will need to upload a csv file with the email ids or phone numbers of customers and amount to be paid.

Instamojo Raises Series A From Kalaari Capital

has raised Series A funding from Kalaari Capital to with participation from existing investors, i.e. Blume Ventures, 500Startups.  Post  funding,Vani Kola of Kalaari Capital will join Instamojo board along with Karthik Reddy, Managing Partner of Blume Ventures.

We plan to spend this money on marketing, product development & expanding the current team across all functions. Part of this involves setting up our new office in Bangalore too. [official blogpost]

Instamojo key competitors include Paytm and PayU, though the company also competes with event solution companies like Explara and MeraEvents.

Instamojo Launches App Store; Makes Selling Easy

has launched an app store that provides a suite of apps where you can subscribe to any app that will make selling easier for you.

Instamojo's Appstore
Instamojo’s Appstore

How is Instamojo’s app store different from similar services (like affiliate / sms notification / bulk email) provided by companies like Explara/Meraevents? Well, it’s about the way Instamojo is positioning this as. Some of the apps that are live are:

  • Merchant Affiliate System – Create your own affiliate network, and let others sell for you. 
  • Email multiple customers – Communicate with your existing customers, and send them updates about your products, and events. 
  • iMojo Link Privacy System – Control visibility of your links, on your profile page, search engines, and sharing. 
  • SMS Notification Alert – Get SMS notifications for each sale [more]

You can buy credits to use these apps (some of the apps are free). We certainly hope third party developers is in the offing [read :Earlier, Explara launched its API] .

Read : Comparison of Instamojo Vs. Explara Vs. MeraEvents.

Recommended Video : What Instamojo Learnt From Its Global Counterparts

 

And Now You Can Sell Physical Goods on Instamojo. But Why?

which started as a play on enabling individuals to sell digital goods has now added an option for sellers to sell physical goods as well.

Instamojo ; Now Sell Physical Goods
Instamojo : Now Sell Physical Goods

But why? Aren’t there enough platforms already? Apart from the fact that selling digital goods is a challenge (lack of digital producers in India), Instamojo is clear about their target market – SOHO/SMB’s who are just getting online for the first time to sell and collect payments for the same.

All we have done is married commerce, payments & design together in a simple-to-use system where all they have to worry is creating content, products, services. Rest, Instamojo would help in hosting, payments, delivery/fulfillment & more.

Also, we now have automated dispute resolution center along with our in-house risk/safety system built inside Instamojo which gives 100% protection to buyers too. [Sampad Swain, Instamojo]

Recommended Video : What Instamojo learned from global counterparts

Compared: Online Ticketing Services [Explara, Instamojo, MeraEvents, PayUPaisa]

For any event organizer, online ticketing service is an important aspect of the event and for the last UnPluggd, we used 4 ticketing options.

In fact, this was the first UnPluggd conference where we didn’t even add an option to ‘pay at venue‘- i.e. our focus was mostly on maximizing the online conversion.

The Online Ticketing Services We Used for UnPluggd

» , , and PayUPaisa*.

For the sake of discussion, I am removing PayUPaisa from the list, as I believe the solution is more geared towards smaller merchants and we generally found the product to be a bit unstable (discount codes didn’t work well).

First, the Average Conversion Ratio

Before I share the conversion ratio, let me mention that there is no standard way these ticketing sites define ‘view’. For example, is ‘View’ defined as view to the event payment page? Is number of widget impressions also added to the view?

I believe, it’s the former. For the sake of clarity, MeraEvents views aren’t clear – the dashboard doesn’t contain any detail (that I could find), so I looked at the numbers that were shared in the daily emails.

Instamojo’s high conversion is primarily because of the simpler checkout process – the widget is way too cool as opposed to any other payment platform.

Ticketing Site : Online Conversion
Ticketing Site : Online Conversion

Features Important to any Event Organizer

1. Daily Reports Delivered Via Email.

Any event organizer would want a daily report on number of views and sales conversion. This helps one gauge marketing RoI and unless you have a dedicated analytics team, you won’t get all the time to go through GA and track conversions on ticketing sites.

Given that most of the organizers are (probably) too busy organizing the event, an email with daily reports just adds to the stickiness.

As of this date, only MeraEvents sends out daily emails and I must say that it’s pretty well done.

2. Attendee Details.

So somebody buys 5 tickets – wouldn’t you as an organizer want to collect the names of all 5 attendees? Explara and MeraEvents do a neat job. Instamojo needs to get it’s act together – even the attendee report doesn’t capture the number of tickets bought by the buyer. For event organizer, this is a huge pain (imagine the scene at registration desk!).

3. Dashboard.

Okay. Who cares about the dashboard? How much of your marketing efforts impacted conversion? What was the traffic source like?

Big shout to Instamojo for their awesome dashboard. Explara does a decent job, though needs to improve.

instamojo_dashboard

MeraEvents has a long way to go.

4. Ticketing : Pricing/Cancellation/Refund/Setting up policies.

Refunds/Name change etc features needs to be standardized. None of the solutions offer a comprehensive view, though organizers get a lot of such last minute requests.

A self-serving platform is an ideal way to go.

In terms of pricing, Instamojo has a standard pricing package (5% of transaction), followed by Explara (Rs. 15/convenience fee + 3.99%). MeraEvents has a complex pricing option, which is more geared towards event marketing solution than pure ticketing.

5. Adding more accounts with different ACLs

Except Explara, others do not allow addition of more accounts to administer the event (correct me, if I am wrong?). This is a basic feature request, I believe.

6. Post-Event

Collecting attendee feedback is important and while organizers will do their own bit, these features could be enabled by the ticketing platforms. It just makes them more useful and meaningful than just being a ‘transaction play’.

Only MeraEvents does a good job of this.

7. Failed Transactions

Now, this is interesting. As an event organizer, you should be in the know of failed transactions and why they failed. Both Explara and MeraEvents offer a feature around this, but the feature is almost hidden.

I believe, they should provide a support solution and reach out to customers whose transactions failed, citing reasons. This just makes the entire process more transparent.


There are various other aspects of event organization (like replacing the ticketing platform’s support contact details with event organizers’ details in the ticket) etc etc that are important to look at, but I would recommend the above online ticketing companies to look at easing the life of an event organizer and also, focus on analytics part.

Agreed that 90% of your customers don’t care about analytics, but it’s just a matter of time that they will start evaluating your solution against competition and importantly, will revisit their marketing RoI.

TL; DR: Long way to go. Most of these companies have reached a product-market fit. The actual product needs some serious improvement.

What has been your experience with the online ticketing services?

* We did try using DoAttend, but by that time, we were exhausted with the different options we were using for ticketing – so decided to not go ahead with it.

What Instamojo Learnt from Global Startups: Sampad Swain [Video]

, started in 2012, helps users sell their digital goods online with a link, trying to make the whole process clutter free and minimalistic. Last year the company received angel funding from investors like Rajan Anandan and Sunil Kalra and was selected for the fifth batch of 500 Startups.

The platform can be used to sell tickets, reports, code and other digital goods without having to setup a site. The company launched its public beta at our startup event, UnPluggd.

At the recently held UnPluggd Roadshow at Pune, Instamojo Co-founder & CEO, Sampad Swain talked about what Instamojo Learnt from global counterparts. He also shared his insights and thoughts on what Indian startups can learn from their global counterparts. Watch his talk at our Pune Roadshow below.


 

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Instamojo Adds Feature to Secure Pdf from Piracy; Great News for Digital Goods Sellers

Instamojo, the platform that helps you sell digital goods online, has launched Instamping- a pdf stamping feature which can secure pdf files from being pirated.

The feature lets you stamp your pdf files with the buyer’s information at the time of sale so as to discourage the buyer from sharing copyrighted content.Instamping

Instamping will be quite useful for artists, designers, writers and others who produce digital content and sell it online.

To secure pdf from piracy, you can simply login to Instamojo and select the “secure your pdf” button, the company said in a blogpost.

The Instamojo platform can be used to sell tickets, reports, code and other digital goods without having to setup site. One can simply upload the files for sale and start accepting payments form online buyers on Instamojo. The startup has been rolling out a few nifty features from time to time that make the platform better.

Recently, it launched an API which can be used by developers to create, edit, query and archive offers programmatically.

Startup Updates: CommonFloor Launches ‘Site Visits’; Instamojo Gets Advanced Analytics & More

commonfloorReal estate portal CommonFloor, has launched ‘site visit’ facility, through which potential buyers can take a free ride in a sedan or hatch back to a project site and back.

The facility is currently in Bangalore, Delhi- NCR, Hyderabad, Pune and Chennai. “Plans are also afoot to offer luxury cars like Mercedes and BMW to visit high- end projects,” the company said.

The idea is to engage with the customer beyond the website to improve conversions. CommonFloor had raised $7.5 mn from Tiger Global and Accel India.

launches Advanced Analytics

Instamojo New Logo500 Startups backed Instamojo has launched “advanced analytics,” to help sellers on Instamojo gain insights to buying behaviour. Analytics is divided to two categories– overview and individual offer analytics. The first section lets you how all your offers are performing on the platform. The Individual offer analytics helps a seller track metrics around each offer.

Instamojo has also included visitor location and referrer conversion rates to the analytics so you can know which medium is working for you and which is not.

Recently Instamojo launched an API for developers to create, edit and archive offers on the site programamatically.

.co.in Gets Into Land Deals

Housingcoin-logoReal estate classifieds portal Housing.co.in has launched a section where pelople can sell land. Until now, the company was only into housing. “Land as a segment of real estate hasn’t been done justice to. We intend to cover ~ 10k villages,” said Advitiya Sharma, CEO of Housing.co.in.

What problem are they trying to solve? “We intend to provide a fair marketplace to all the sellers and a convenient platform to buyers,” he said. “We will require thousand of people to work on this hence hiring at mass scale is the next big thing,” he added.

500 Startups Invites Applications for New Batch; Instamojo Cuts Charges by 50% [Startup Roundup]

Silicon Valley based early stage accelerator 500 Startups is calling for applications to its latest batch of startups (). The accelerator, founded by super angel Dave McClure, which takes a large number of international startups (especially from India), invests anywhere between $25,000- $250,000 in a large number of early stage startups.

For Batch 007
For Batch 007

Typically, the investments are around $50,00 for 5 % stake in startups that have traction and want to go to Silicon Valley. Last year, the accelerator set up a $5 mn fund called “Startup Wallah” to back Indian startups.

In May this year, five Indian startups, including Credii, Seat 14A, School Admissions, Tushky and PriceBaba made it to the program. You can apply for the program until 16 August 2013.

Watch Dave McClure in conversation with NextBigWhat

More videos on our Youtube Channel.

Cuts Rates by 50%

Instamojo, the platform which lets you quickly sell goods on the Internet has reduced prices by 50%. The startup announced in a blogpost that the new price will be 5% per transaction for Indian sellers and 5%+ 30 cents per transaction for sellers abroad.

“Like before, there’s no additional charges or fees for setup, hosting, bandwidth, delivery of your digital files or even payment processing. With this update, we have reduced our pricing to half from what it was,” the blogpost said.

Instamojo recently launched an API which can be used by developers to create, edit, query and archive offers programmatically.

Taxiforsure launches to book cabs on Twitter

Serendipity Infolabs Pvt. Limited, which runs the online cab booking site TaxiForSure has launched the TweetATaxi campaign with which users can book taxis on Twitter.

The user needs to write to their Twitter handle (@taxiforsure) with their requirement and suffix the hashtag TweetATaxi. For example: “@taxiforsure need a taxi from JP Nagar to Airport at 5:30pm TweetATaxi”.

TaxiForSure will then reach out to the customer to book their taxi.

Instamojo Launches API For Developers to Create, Archive & Sell Stuff Programmatically

Instamojo New LogoInstamojo, the platform for users to sell goods online, has launched an API which can be used by developers to create, edit, query and archive offers programmatically.

To get access to the API in private beta, you’d have to e-mail api@instamojo.com asking for an App-id.

The platform lets you set up an account and start selling or giving away stuff. With the API, third party developers can integrate to Instamojo and it allows them to add, edit or archive offers programmatically without having to go on their site.

“It makes sense to the kind of sellers who have lot to sell and adding/editing each offer one by one is mundane task. Our API would help ease that pain,” Sampad Swain, the Co-Founder & CEO of Instamojo told NextBigWhat.

But then, how is Instamojo different from a payment gateway? Swain says that the company wants to be the complete out of the box solution for sellers without having to worry about maintaining a site.

Last week, the 500Startups backed company had increased the frequency of payouts for sellers to twice a month.

The platform has been used by many to sell digital goods, event tickets, publications and software. At NextBigWhat, we used Instamojo to sell our latest report on What Indian Startups Expect from Accelerators.

The startup by Sampad Swain, Harshad Sharma and Akash Gehani launched its public beta @Unpluggd earlier.

Check Instamojo demo @Unpluggd

Dave McClure sets up 500 Startup Wallah, a $5 million fund to back Indian startups

Dave McClure of 500 startups is setting up 500 “Startup Wallah,” a $ 5 million fund to back Indian startups, according to a filing on the United Securities & Exchanges regulator.

Earlier this year, MccLure had announced his plans to increase his startup acclerator’s focus in India. He’d told NBW that 500startups will invest in at least 10-12 Indian startups this year.

500 Startups had hired Pankaj Jain, a Delhi based mentor to focus on Indian startups and community building in the country. So far, they have invested in over 10 Indian companies including Teliport.me, MyGola and CucumberTown (read: list of 500Startups’ Investment in India).

The startup accelerator has also partnered with Rajesh Sawhney’s GSF India Accelerator.

In the Fall 2012 batch, the McClure’s accelerator took in 4 Indian startups including TradeBriefs, WalletKit, gazeMetrix and Instamojo. Angel Investor Paul Singh who is a mentor at 500startups has been leading all of their India investments (Got questions? Ask Paul Singh anything on our forum.)

In the last 12 months, there has been a spike in the number of accelerators and incubators in India.

The country, slated to become a $3.6 trillion economy by 2020 has been attracting the attention of many, including high profile investors and mentors. Earlier this month, Valley based investor Chamath Palihapitia invested in Bangalore based technology incubator AngelPrime along with the Mayfield Fund.

Last month we reported that veteran Silicon Valley investor Vinod Khosla is about to start Khosla Labs, an incubator in India. Khosla has already made a key hire in the country and the lab is expected to start operations in 6 months.

Recommended resource: THE list of Accelerators and Incubators in India.

A look at 500Startups’ Fall 2012 Batch, Investments in India

Silicon Valley based 500startups recently announced its India expansion and here is a quick roundup of the “Big 4” in the 500 Startups Fall 2012 Batch.

1. TradeBriefs

Idea: Email newsletter service for the industry professionals providing them with industry news, global insights and exclusive jobs

Founding Team: Sree Vijaykumar, previously worked at Deloitte, IBM Global Business Service and is an alumnus of Carnegie Mellon University and IIT Mumbai.

About: Founded in the year 2008 the company has less than 50 employees, working on their B2B product providing most comprehensive and relevant report of the day gathered from a numerous sources.

2. WalletKit

Idea: WalletKit is creating a platform for businesses to create manage and deliver digital boarding pass, tickets and coupons for the mobile wallets.

Founding Team: Kevin Rajasekaran (CEO)  and Ramakanth Dorai ( CTO )

About: Currently operating in free private beta.

3.gazeMetrix

Idea: gazeMetrix is a tool to measure and track the brand presence on TV and online media effectively.

Founding Team: Deobrat Singh, Debayan and Saurab Paruthi

About: UberLabs demoed their product gazeMetrix at Unpluggd this year and made it to the top 10 finalists. Recently they won $25,000 from Microsoft at the Qualcomm organised QPrize. Full review here

4. Instamojo

Idea: Service that makes buying and selling of digital content like music, ebooks or digital presentation with a simple link sharing.

Founding Team: Sampad Swain, Harshad Sharma and Akash Gehani

About: They secured angel funding from Rajan Anandan and Sunil Kalra in July and launched their public their public beta at Unpluggd this year. Full review here.

Earlier investments of 500startups in India include MyGola, Cucumbertown and Teleport.me.

Will 500startups disrupt the angel investment scene in India? Well, they have certainly woken up a lot of angels who are now planning to come down (from the cloud) and close rounds quickly.

Exciting time to do a startup in India!

Also see: THE List of Accelerators and Incubators in India.

Dave McClure’s 500Startups invests in Instamojo

Dave McClure’s 500 startups, which recently hired Pankaj Jain to improve its focus on startups based in India has invested in Instamojo, a Mumbai based startup that makes selling on the web easy.
Instamojo, which raised Angel money from Google’s Rajan Anandan earlier is similar to Gumroad, a website built by Sahil Lavingia, the 19 year old designer behind Pinterest (has raised $1.1mn from KPCB, Accel, Naval Ravikant etc).

The startup believes that selling or giving your things online should be as simple as posting it, sharing the link and then giving it away. Besides Anandan, angel investor Sunil Kalra also invested in Instamojo in July this year (incidentally, they met for the first time @UnPluggd).

Instamojo is started  by Sampad Swain, Harshad Sharma and Akash Gehani ; and launched its public beta @Unpluggd earlier this year.
Check Instamojo demo @Unpluggd

Instamojo secures angel funding from Rajan Anandan and Sunil Kalra

Mumbai based that lets you sell your stuff via a link has raised angel round from Rajan Anandan and Sunil Kalra.

Instamojo’s basic USP lies in the belief that selling or giving your things online should be as simple as posting it, sharing the link and then giving it away. Co-founded by Sampad Swain, whose previous ecommerce venture WanaMo was acquired and later launched as DealsAndYou, Instamojo launched its public beta @UnPluggd event.instamojo

The funding was closed a few weeks back and is being used for development efforts (interestingly, the investors, i.e. Rajan Anandan and Sunil Kalra met (for the first time) Instamojo founders at UnPluggd event).

Currently the site Instamojo allows users to set up their account by entering their Facebook credentials and start giving away things for free. In the current model in which the site is operating, there are two sections, either you “give away stuff”, which could be an old book, clothes or something else altogether. When you post about that stuff, you get a small link to share on social networking sites or you can embed it in blogs or even email it. People who need that thing can click on that link and decide upon a mutual location for the exchange to take place (from our earlier coverage).

Checkout Instamojo’s demo @UnPluggd:

Instamojo: Sell your stuff by just sharing a link

If landing pages were a parameter, then is already a success in my opinion. With a clutter free and minimalistic approach Instamojo aims to simplify the entire process of selling your stuff online with a link.instamojo

At the heart of the service lies the belief that selling or giving your things online should be as simple as posting it, sharing the link and then giving it away. Co-founded by Sampad Swain, whose previous ecommerce venture WanaMo was acquired and later launched as DealsAndYou, Instamojo surely has a lot of potential.

Currently the site Instamojo allows users to set up their account by entering their Facebook credentials and start giving away things for free. In the current model in which the site is operating, there are two sections, either you “give away stuff”, which could be an old book, clothes or something else altogether. When you post about that stuff, you get a small link to share on social networking sites or you can embed it in blogs or even email it. People who need that thing can click on that link and decide upon a mutual location for the exchange to take place.

The second option currently is to “schedule an event” under which people give away their time, which is essentially their skill. The members of the co-founding team, a famous VC among a host of other people have given away their time via Instamojo. In the currently operating model, Instamojo doesn’t charge money for “things” and “time” people are giving away for free. According to co-founder Sampad, this will continue to happen even when the site launches it paid platform in the coming weeks.

With the launching of the paid platform, people would be able to sell their digital content online via Instamojo. The approach would remain the same as before, where the link to the content is shared across social platforms. This would form the basis of the money stream for Instamojo. The website would provide encryption to prevent digital theft of the content along with a preview of the digital service and the currently available metrics and analytics for the links shared by the creators.

The bigger question for Instamojo team is ‘who do you compete with?’ From a classified site (like Quikr which is used by consumers to sell their stuff) to domain service (used by SME players to ‘sell stuff‘) ? Do give Instamojo a spin and share your comments.

[Instamojo launched its public beta @UnPluggd, India’s Biggest Startup Event. 

Check out the 10 startups that demoed @UnPluggd.]