Amin Shaikh is the founder of Instazap, a “one-stop super app” that connects retailers and service providers in a given geographic area to local customers who need everything from breakfast to an electrician.
Shaikh started Instazap in 2020 and intends to go urban and global with the idea. However, he is also passionate about making the app work at the micro level in rural areas with a view to keeping communities commercially alive and helping small operators such as florists, bakeries and pharmacies stay in activity.
Also in Shaikh’s grand plan is a determination to solve some of the challenges of last mile delivery. He thinks autonomous sidewalk delivery is the way to go and that’s translating into on-demand shopping delivered by drones and sidewalk robots – something that’s likely to happen faster than we might. to imagine.
In fact, development of an Instazap delivery robot is already underway in collaboration with third-tier institutions and Shaikh expects to have a prototype ready in about 18 months. He is also in talks with drone companies about the logistics of providing the company with a delivery service.
Shaikh has a background in computer science and has experience in both the tech start-up world and the multinational environment, having spent five years at Intel before founding Instazap. His Mullingar-based business now has six full-time and four part-time staff, and also uses the services of 25 contractors (known as Super Zappers) who handle personal shopping requests and deliveries.
There are basically two sides to the business: the consumer app and the B2B element that provides retailers and service providers of all kinds with a sales/booking platform. In particular, Shaikh says he has real appeal for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) with little to no digital presence and no budget for marketing or lead generation.
Instazap launched in Sligo and has since rolled out to Carlow, Mullingar, Athlone and Letterkenny with the rest of the country to follow. The company, which generated revenue from the start, makes money by charging businesses a facilitation fee (which Shaikh says is much lower than the widely used commission model) and by providing services to its business customers. add-ons such as an integrated order and payment system, which allows them to offer same-day cashless delivery.
“Instazap is focused on meeting consumers’ everyday needs in minutes, all in the same app with just a few simple clicks,” says Shaikh. “So far, a large percentage of our end users have been students and people without personal transportation between the ages of 18 and 38 living in suburban areas and provincial towns. The app is used an average of five times a day to order food, buy groceries and arrange service such as cleaning.
Development costs to date have been in the region of €200,000 between personal investment and support from the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Westmeath. The next financial step for the company is a fundraising of 2 million euros in 2023.
Shaikh plans to enter the UK market in the first quarter of next year and the product has also been tested in Pakistan and Indonesia. Franchising is the most likely expansion model for the future. In June this year, Shaikh extended the reach of his business with the acquisition of Otals, a start-up founded in 2021 by IT professional Kamil Mahajan who had developed a booking platform for home services. .
“By bringing the two companies together, we can revolutionize the future of the fast-paced commerce and on-demand services market. Instant fulfillment is no longer a luxury, we can achieve it,” says Shaikh. “People these days are all trying to save time and our goal is to make it as easy as possible for them to meet their daily needs, leaving them time to do what matters most to them.”