How Inai is enabling Indian merchants collect cross-border payments

Fintech startup Inai's focus is on helping Indian merchants build their businesses. It is enabling more young entrepreneurs to take advantage of the vast potential of cross-border e-commerce.

How Inai is enabling Indian merchants collect cross-border payments

Tuesday August 02, 2022,

5 min Read

India is a powerhouse when it comes to global trade. However, for way too long, the lack of an integrated payment ecosystem has been a roadblock for the country's merchants looking to execute international payments. Y Combinator-backed fintech startup inai was launched to solve this problem by empowering Indian businesses to collect payments from anywhere across the globe. With inai, businesses can finally take advantage of the opportunities outside India's borders.

Meet the team

The co-founders of INAI are childhood friends Anantharaman (Anta) Pattabiraman and Karthik Narayanan, who have a wealth of experience in finance and technology. Anta has been involved in finance for over a decade and is a serial entrepreneur and tech enthusiast. Over the years, he has gained a deep understanding of the financial industry and the inner workings of startups. He graduated from IIM Ahmedabad and IIT Madras and has held various finance leadership positions.

Meanwhile, Karthik, also a serial entrepreneur with over a decade of experience in product and engineering, holds ten patents to his credentials in the technology space. Karthik has a decade of experience in building products both as an individual contributor and in a managerial/leadership capacity. He enjoys handling problems of scale, especially products, and building and leading high-impact teams.

Both have worked in investment banking, run tech companies, and built products for consumers and enterprises. While Anta worked his way up the ladder at Goldman, Karthik did the same at Samsung, Juniper, and Qualcomm.

The entire team at Inai comprises a talented bunch. Vijay Lakshminarayanan, in his capacity as a VP, brings with him a decade and a half of experience building software with rich SaaS products. Ashwin Varadarajan, who leads customer success, has a half-decade of experience in cross-border payments and building CS teams. Nagateja Jasti, with his decade of experience in the payment industry and rich enterprise sales experience, rounds the team.

This experience has given them a deep understanding of the pain points that medium-sized merchants face. Their shared passion for solving global problems has led them to create a product that can make a real difference for merchants in emerging markets.

The e-commerce landscape for Asia

Cross-border e-commerce is growing at an unprecedented rate, and merchants in Asia play a significant role in this growth. The global e-fulfillment market made up 46.8 percent of the total for e-commerce logistics, with last-mile making up the remaining 53.2 percent in 2021. In 2021, cross-border e-commerce volume reached approximately 5 trillion, and this trend is only expected to continue in the years to come.

Indian merchants are particularly well-positioned to capitalise on this opportunity, and they are increasingly turning to specialized providers like inai to help them go global.

The inai solution

Entrepreneurs in emerging markets risk falling behind if they don't have the same opportunities as their developed world counterparts. And while this remains a far cry, inai has a deeper understanding of why this disparity exists in the first place.

The fact that emerging markets have low credit penetration means that alternative payment methods are more prevalent in these regions. Also, these alternate payment methods each come with their flow. Different flows are optimal for different payment methods. This can be complicated for merchants, primarily if they operate in multiple geographies.

Inai deals with international payments' complexities, including 3DS, different fields, currencies, and languages. They also lay the foundation for further optimisation and route transactions to help merchants recover successful checkouts.

inai is simple and helps merchants launch, manage, and scale their global payment stack in minutes, not weeks or months. It also provides insights into global payment data that help merchants better understand their audience and make informed decisions about their business.

inai offers local payment methods and multiple gateways to all its clients, making it easier to sell to customers worldwide. inai's focus is on helping Indian merchants build their businesses and is enabling more young entrepreneurs to take advantage of the vast potential of cross-border e-commerce.

inai is already empowering multiple use cases, such as, ecommerce businesses like HealthifyMe, marketplace companies like Zoomcar, software platforms like Upmesh and other high-risk gaming merchants. With inai's support, they can overcome the hurdles of selling internationally and tap into a vast new market of online shoppers.

inai is backed by leading investors, including Y Combinator, Paua Ventures, Uncommon Capital, and 9Unicorns, and operators / CXOs from several fintech companies including Marqueta, Amex Ventures, Cred, and Go-Cardless.

Three different ways to integrate your checkout

Inai is a young company that is already making waves in e-commerce. The core of their service hinges on the three primary checkout integrations that are helping revolutionise the way businesses accept payments online.

  • First, their payment link feature allows businesses to take payments without any need for coding or complex integration.
  • Second, their drop-in SDK can be quickly and easily added to any website, perfectly matching its branding.
  • And third, a world-first for enterprise merchants: a headless checkout that allows the merchant to completely own the front-end experience while retaining all the flexibility that inai provides on the dashboard.

The dashboard also allows for choosing payment methods, providers, country by country, routing, and multiple language support. They also extend their support to iOS, Android, cross-platform, and web platforms. This provides merchants with a comprehensive solution for their payment ecosystem.