Letter from the CEO: Announcing Our Seed Funding Round

Written by: Anta (CEO & Co-Founder)

At inai, we are very proud of what we have already accomplished and excited to continue building and scaling our no-code payments automation platform. That’s why I’m honored and excited to announce that we have recently completed a $4 million seed funding round led by Paua Ventures, with participation from 9Unicorns, Uncommon Capital, Soma Capital, Anarko Ventures, Better Capital, FortyTwo VC, and Gemba Capital along with angel investors - Sriram Krishnan, Lenny Rachitsky, Matt Robinson, (Founder of GoCardless, Nested), Louis Beryl (Rocketplace, Earnest), Charlie Delingpole (Founder of Comply Advantage), and Naren Shaam (Founder Omio). 

Image of founders, Karthik Narayanan and Anta Pattabiraman
Left: Karthik Narayanan (CTO & Co-Founder), Right: Anantharaman Pattabiraman (CEO & Co-Founder)

At inai, our goal is to help every company launch, manage and scale a global payment stack in minutes and not weeks or months, and enable non-engineers in the company to take action on insights we will deliver from their payment data. The explosion of alternate payment methods and payment providers has left merchants, especially those that sell in multiple geographies, with suboptimal choices:

  1. Either continue working with their single vendor who may not be able to provide them optimal conversion or approval rates in all the markets they operate in.
  2. Or build out large payment engineering teams and manage them with all of the costs associated with hiring, retention etc in a red hot market for engineering talent.

We are building inai to give our customers a better choice, one where they can seamlessly work with multiple payment vendors and payment methods so they can optimize for conversion and take ownership of their payment data so they can take action on it.

Payment Fragmentation is the Status Quo

There has been a surge in the number of newer payment rails that customers use in the last 5 years and an accompanying surge in the number of payment vendors. In many emerging markets particularly in SE Asia, we see that alternate payment rails account for more than 50% of the volume of e-commerce transactions.

Karthik (my co-founder and CTO) and I experienced this problem first hand when building our previous startup Auro. We realized that to expand internationally, you will need a different payment provider for many markets; for e.g, Stripe does not offer local payment methods in many Asian markets or Paypal or Affirm, you will need to customize the checkout for each market, and integrate with fraud, tax or BI tools. 

inai abstracts all of this into a single API with a no-code dashboard. Merchants can customize the checkout experience by region (show DBS Paylah!, Grab Pay and Paypal in Singapore, but Apple Pay and Cards in the US), connect to multiple payment partners and customize it by region, support failover logic (if the transaction fails on rail A, re-route on rail B automatically) and get insights from their payments data to drive their business forward. inai also supports subscription payments, whether you want to use invoice-based billing or self-checkout, we can help you launch a subscription business with global coverage from day one.

Our early have shown us that it is entirely possible for product managers or finance teams, not just payment engineers, to quickly launch a globally optimized checkout experience and orchestrate workflows to drive business goals – all without writing a single line of code. By democratizing these capabilities, we are empowering teams that have business intelligence, be it PMs or finance teams, to take action on their insights without having to wait for multiple developer sprints.

We're Just Getting Started

In just a few months, we’ve gone from an idea to a full-featured platform supported by an incredible team and adopted by an impressive list of customers. And we did it all in the midst of a global pandemic. We’re incredibly grateful to everyone who’s helped us along the way.

We raised this seed round of $4m to capitalize on the opportunity in front of us. We’re growing incredibly fast, and the problems we address impact almost every modern business. Over the next year, we’ll grow our product team, launch and build a GTM team, expand our list of partner payment rails and providers both by geography and by type of payment, bring machine learning and business intelligence to the platform along with pre-built templates for payment optimization, while continuing our focus on making our no-code platform powerful and easy to use for everyone.

inai Team Image
From top-left: Girish, Vijay, Venthan, Anta, Rakesh, Nijil, Sabrina, Bishnu, Sahil R, Shreyas, Shabaz, Alex, Suraj, Karthik, Harish, and Sahil S.

This is also great news for our customers. As we grow and mature our platform, we’ll be able to drive better insights for our customers in terms of the most optimal payment stack for their business, and leverage their payment data to further their business. 

To everyone on the journey with us – our incredible team, our board of advisors, and most importantly, our customers – thank you! This has been an incredible ride so far, and there is a lot more in the pipeline.

Join the Movement

If you’re looking to improve your checkout experience for your end customers, launch in new markets, increase revenue and optimise payment costs and simplify your back end, request a demo of our platform today! And if you believe in our mission and want to help us take the world by storm, we invite you to join our team!

Anta is the CEO and Co-Founder of inai with 16 years of experience in finance and tech. He spent nearly eleven years as a portfolio manager at Goldman Sachs before starting, scaling, and selling a cross border e-commerce business and is now CEO and Co-Founder of inai.

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