This IIT Incubated Startup is Bringing Everyone Closer to Affordable Internet
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There are many ways through which Internet has made our life easier. Gone are the days when internet connection was a luxury, today its more than a necessity. However, a reliable and secure internet connection has become a top priority for India’s tech-savvy millennial.
Government is already taking initiatives to deliver better Internet services in every nook and corner of the country. Delhi-based i2e1 (information to everyone) has also taken a step further towards building a connected ecosystem where low-cost information is available to everyone.
Incubated by IIT Delhi and founded by a team of six IIT and IIM graduates, the Wi-Fi analytics provider helps offline merchants offer instant, reliable and secure Internet services to customers through their TRAI compliant devices. Depending upon the services, the company charges between INR 400 to INR 4,000 per month to retailers
Entrepreneur India had a chat with Satyam Darmora, Co-founder, i2e1 to know how his company is enabling internet for everyone in a cost-efficient way.
Narrowing the Knowledge Gap:
Darmora believes that issues such as information asymmetry cause social and economic inequality. In order to bridge this gap between knowledge and people, and make people well connected, Darmora and other teammates came up with the idea of i2e1. The i2e1 team has developed a hotspot management layer that provides retailers and venue-owners the ability to share a portion of their underutilized bandwidth with their customers.
“Initially, it was just a concept. All we knew was that data, especially consumer data, is the new currency, and we wanted to build a business with a robust data platform and futuristic in approach. The conception of this idea soon led to comprehensive research followed by us applying for incubation at IIT-Delhi in June 2015,” he added.
Empowering Offline Retailers :
i2e1 was born out of personal and professional experiences, where Darmora along with other team members learned about the power of information and the impact it creates on people’s lives.
“Providing information to everyone, precisely, was the main idea behind i2e1’s inception. Our journey began in June 2015 to provide our network to the offline retailers who today, unlike online players, have no access to the vast consumer data, insights and information,” said Darmora.
Internet For All:
Envisioning over 1 million Wi-Fi hotspots across India, i2e1 is working on path-breaking technology to disrupt Wi-Fi business models in India. The company’s disruptive innovation includes affordable hotspot solutions and artificial intelligence based analytics for monetization.
The analytics helps offline retailers get real-time insights into consumer behavior inside and outside the retailers' store.
How Does i2e1 Work?
Once the retailer contacts i2e1, the team steps in to understand the needs of the retailers. After doing that, the company sets up the network at the retailer's store where consumers get i2e1 rationed bandwidth.
“ We also make the use of CCTV and link it to their network thereby creating a heat map. This helps in providing consumer analytics to retailers. The challenge, however, lies in making sure the network is secure, identifies customer browsing habits, gets them hooked on the marketing collateral for footfalls and finally, pushes personalized communication. So, then the customer connects to an i2e1 network, registers with his number and enters an OTP to use the Wi-Fi, the number becomes a loyalty code for the customer,” shared Darmora.
i2e1 uses proprietary Cloud-based authentication technology that enables even a 1000 rupees router to convert into a manageable hotspot. The company has its presence in 3 countries, 22 states, 55 cities and boasts over 10,000 active clients. Their client list includes brands like Chaayos, Airtel, Vodafone, and Beer Cafe.