IPay: An Online Platform for Offline Retailers

Founded in 2013 by Krishna Lakamsani, IPay is an electronic assisted marketplace, which offers an e-inventory by the name IPay Dukanline. It is uploaded in a tablet that connects the consumers to e-sellers through local retailers. The product is a ”hi-breed” eCommerce marketplace that taps consumers who are unaware of e-retail and its usage, to purchase online by paying offline.

The company is headquartered in Hyderabad.


How does it Work?

The features and services of IPay comprise of its expertise that simplifies the process of bringing offline buyers, local retailers and sellers to a single integrated platform. The local retailers serve as the cash point for IPay. Through this platform, the customers can browse through the product on tablet and select the ones they would like to purchase. However, there could be situations when the retailer might not be in a position to answer a customer’s query. To cater to this gap, IPay has a platform where the retailer simply needs to enter the customer’s phone number into the tablet to receive a call from the IPay call center within 3 seconds. The call center’s executive shall then provide the required information regarding the product. IPay confirms the booking and accordingly, the customer pays cash and takes a receipt from the retailer. IPay connects the seller and retailer for the shipment which is then transported directly to the customer or the retailer.

Revenue Model

IPay’s revenue model is a replica of any other marketplace model. The company charges sellers a listing fee for each sale made through its platform. A percentage of this listing fee is shared with the retailers as well, who assist customers in purchasing locally, collecting cash from customers and keeping shipped orders for customers to collect it from his shop.

Customer Traction Details

Currently, IPay acquires a new customer every 5 seconds on the clock from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Every 1 second, 5 customers walk into 4300+ stores and 2.8 million customers and every 1.93 seconds, one sale happens on the platform.

IPay’s Reach

IPay is serving 2.7 million customers across Andhra Pradesh and Telangana with its retail network of 3700+ retailers.

Its Potential Competitors

“IPay has competitors in various parts of the world. Its potential competitors in India are BigBazaar Direct, Storeking and Qiwi. In Indonesia, it is PT Ruma and PT Kudo, In Vietnam, it is Mobivi, in South Africa, it is Copia Global and in the USA, it is Orderwithme. However, it must be mentioned that every competitor has its own way of execution. IPay is the best in technology that it has developed, which is full stake in house and it can port and support companies in other countries as well”, maintains Lakamsani .

Future scope and Innovation

IPay at present is working in two states, where it has already empanelled more than 25, 000 retailers to generate Rs. 1200 Crores as Gross Mechandise Value (GMV). It aims to take the first mover advantage of selling eCommerce to bottom of the pyramid customers with its firm commitment to grow in all its endeavours.

Funding status

Lakamsani states, “We as a company at present are working towards self-sustainability and are a bootstrapped. We have recently monetized our Research and Development center and have transformed it into a frugal division of the company, which initially required maximum investment. We did this by partnering with an Indonesian Telecom Company to replicate the same model in Indonesia using our technology. However, we are looking to raise Series A funding of 15 Million USD in the next couple of months.

Way Forward

IPay intends on developing a software for Semi-literate and Illiterate retailers who have never used the computer or a smartphone before. Additionally, it looks forward to go beyond the tiny 2% of online shoppers in India who are on the internet and make e-commerce accessible by taking it to the remotest locations and traditional offline shoppers.

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