Democratizing Internet access in India

In a world where the UN has declared internet access as a basic human right, a reliable Internet connection is now an essential part of modern living. 

In India, though, most people are connected to the Internet via their mobile phones. And there are two problems with this: 

  1. More than 95% of consumers are capped at 1.5 GB data per day but actually need more than 10 GB
  2. Demand to stream content on smart TVs, engage on social media and access online education tools at home is growing at an exponential rate

Consequently, more and more households find they need to have access to always-on and unlimited Internet. But, in reality, just 10% of homes in India are connected with home WiFi today. Affordability is a major factor as to why this is the case.

Telecom and technology startup Wiom is on a mission to change this.

Connecting cities across India

A new-age platform-led distribution model, Wiom provides individuals in middle and lower-middle income households access to unlimited Internet at very low prices. It does this by buying unused Internet from existing users and selling it those looking for affordable Internet. 

As a result, Wiom can offer customers 24/7 Internet access, for as little as INR 10 a day. And since its launch, the startup has acquired over 300,000 customers in Delhi alone. 

Following its recent Series A funding round of $17 million USD (INR 140 crores), Wiom is now primed to expand its footprint to other Indian cities.

The round was led by RTP Global and also saw participation from new and existing investors including YourNest, Omidyar Networks, Global Brain, Alteria Capital, Blume Founders Fund and Stride Ventures.

With this capital injection, the founders at Wiom are embarking on ambitious plans to grow the company’s customer base to over 150 million users by 2028 and achieve their mission of democratizing Internet access in India. 

Nishit Garg, a Partner in the Asia investment team at RTP Global, was excited by the founders’ vision. He said: “With broadband penetration in India standing at 10%, Wiom is uniquely positioned to capture this opportunity. Satyam and Nishit have innovated across the value chain and they are seeing tremendous traction already. We are privileged to partner this team as they define the broadband story of India.” 

A WiFi revolution

At the heart of Wiom’s mission lies the Prime Minister Wi-Fi Access Network Interface (PM-WANI) framework. The national scheme launched by the Government of India will provide affordable internet access to 500 million Indians over the next five years.  

Satyam Darmora, Wiom’s founder, believes they can pave the way for digital empowerment by harnessing the scalability and asset-light nature of this PM-WANI framework. He said: 

“Every individual in our country must be able to afford 24/7, unlimited Internet. Using technological disruptions, our solution is creating a future where connectivity knows no boundaries. It means that every Indian can harness the transformative power of the Internet.”

Read more about WIOM’s Series A fundraise here.