The Road so Far — Instamojo’s Roadmap to Success

I have been reading up about new generation payment gateway players based in India and Instamojo invariably is on top of the list throughout. So, I dug a bit into their history and how their product has evolved over time. My work was cut out, thanks to informative posts by the founder Sampad Swain! I will try to assimilate these pointers together with the features of the product itself and imagine what would have their roadmap looked like in say, 2014.

What is Instamojo?

In Sampad Swain’s own words-

Instamojo.com is a digital payments platform bundled with tons of e-commerce features to enable any business or individual to sell, manage & grow online securely, effortlessly and cost-effectively.

That sums up things pretty well. Looking at their feature announcements, Instamojo has executed wonderfully on this vision. Everything about them lives and breathes ease of payment and e-commerce for individuals (P2P or otherwise) and micro businesses.

History

In it’s early life up to 2014 was all about simple payment links to help small businesses or individuals sell for digital goods like eBooks, software, music etc. Business model was to receive a percentage cut for hosting these assets and enabling transactions.

Present

Today, Instamojo has a well crafted business built around its payment gateway model and has multiple value streams for their customers (the merchants). The strategy has evolved from that of a gateway provider to that of a keystone player in an ecosystem of micro-e-commerce(more on this below).

The key values offered by Instamojo to the small merchants are:

  • Simple payment processing at low transaction fee
  • Online store
  • Integration with other value added services and products via Appstore
  • Sell anything which is legal — beyond digital goods. E.g., event tickets, subscriptions, physical goods etc.
  • Buyer and seller protection
  • Risk management system for sellers
  • Automated reports, payment requests etc
  • Analytics
  • And, many more…

The Roadmap so Far

So, how did Instamojo get here?

As Sampad Swain shares here, their roadmap was divided into Reach, Revenue and Retention buckets for better clarity over priorities. In the early stages, it makes sense to track the Reach and Retention metrics closely and build some muscles on improving both. Immediately later, it would be critical to focus on Revenue as that’s what keeps a venture running in the long run. It’s important to note that, in the long run, Revenue for a subscription based business like Instamojo (from merchants stand point) depends on increasing the retention rates. Hence, that should never go out of focus.

Some of the key themes that emerge from Instamojo’s roadmap are:

Short term goals(Before 2014):

Focus would have been on Reach and basic Revenue oriented features initially. In the second half of the period a lot of Retention oriented themes can be seen (feedback, convenience features etc).

  • File hosting
  • Payment links
  • Feedback system
  • Convenience features for merchants (Better editor, Archiving links, better URL schemes)
  • More and easier login options

These clearly show the intent to Reach and Retain customers.

Mid/Long term goals (2014–2015):

  • Improved payments
  • Appstore (Dispute resolution, Affiliation system)
  • Communication (Email, SMS, Notifications, Marketing apps)
  • Mobile
  • Stability and reliability

What next?

It could be that time again, for Instamojo to reconsider what should be the key focus to propel further growth. Some considerations could be

  • Improve customer service (There are complaints on-line)
  • More one-place features for merchants
  • Better analytics
  • Going international

Based on these themes, below is the proposed short term roadmap.