Ilya Melkumov: Inovat Is a Digital VAT Refund Solution That Allows Travellers To Save More Than 20% In Tax on Shopping

August 9, 2022

Inovat is a digital VAT refund solution that allows travellers to save more than 20% in tax on shopping without the need to complete any paperwork or stand in airport queues.

Tell us about yourself?

Before starting Inovat, I was an investor at a VC fund and sold my first business in gaming at the age of 19.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

Never Give Up and always look for ways to develop/test/adapt and learn from the data.

What problem does your business solve?

For the past 10 years, the VAT refunds industry has not changed in a bit and has never been challenged. It is dominated by 2 players who charge extremely high fees and operate paper-driven processes.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

We know the problem from the ground up and how existing and new players operate. After my last experience when I was late for the flight claiming a VAT refund I could not bear it anymore.

In this, we saw an opportunity, where we could make it much easier for travellers to reclaim their VAT refunds.

What is your magic sauce?

None of our competitors offers Tax refunds as a white label integration for banks which is where the main value lies.

Inovat partner API that will allow us to offer tax refunds to millions of bank clients directly in their mobile banking apps. This will help us with product awareness and CAC reduction.

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

Our long-term goal with Inovat is to make Tax Free stress-free globally. We believe there is so much more to travelling than filling out paper forms and spending hours in queues.

Who would hesitate to get a cashback on their card after purchasing souvenirs, presents or clothes on a trip, all in a matter of seconds?

While we start out with Tax Free, we believe it is the best building block for making the whole travel and shopping process for travellers easy and transparent which will enable us to cross-sell travel products as integration into financial apps that are used on a daily basis.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

Resources/outreach. Covid had a real negative effect on our industry, travel is rising back and we want to make sure we can serve our customer with the best possible product.

How do people get involved/buy into your vision?

With Inovat people save twice more money, save hours and travel stress-free. What else could you dream of?

So when you are travelling next time use Inovat and get your Tax Free Stress Free.

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