New Delhi: Smart data management start-up i2e1 has raised $500,000 in its seed round from early stage investors GrowX Ventures and Singapore Angels, apart from a group of angel investors including former Infosys board member T.V. Mohandas Pai, the company said in a statement on Thursday.

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi, where i2e1 was incubated, is also a shareholder in the company.

The company will use the fund to enhance the analytics platform and team expansion. It also plans to increase its headcount from 17 to 45-50 in the next six months.

i2e1 is a platform that aims to leverage low-cost technology solutions combined with the power of big data and machine learning systems to offer affordable or free Wi-Fi and Internet to customers.

It sells its service to cafes, restaurants, saloons or budget hotel aggregators, including names like Zo Rooms. It charges 1,500 from merchants for a one-year package which includes the device that has to be installed.

i2e1 is live across India with over 100 paying clients, including retail outlets and internet service providers. Additionally, it has partnerships in place to help it scale up to over 5,000 locations next year.

“We believe information asymmetry causes inequality. At i2e1, we are challenging ourselves to create a model which will bridge the information gap for at least 500 million people over the next 5-7 years. Our aim is to build a connected ecosystem where information is available to everyone, at the right time and the right place, to enable better and faster decision-making. While there are many application-level platforms, network-level platforms are still unexplored despite having the potential to transform multiple business models," said Satyam Darmora, co-founder, i2e1.

An alumnus of IIT Delhi and Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, Darmora has worked as head of financial services portfolio at the Dell Family Foundation. Other members of the founding team include Ashutosh Mishra, former employee of Microsoft, Adobe, Anugrah Adams who has worked in Chitika, a mobile advertising platform, Gaurav Bansal, alumnus of IIT-Kharagpur and Maanas Dwivedi, former employee of American Express.

“i2e1 is led by a very strong team with a vision to do to the network layer what companies like Facebook have done to the application layer, free it up, in exchange for data, allowing for a more meaningful connect between merchants or brands and their consumers," said Sheetal Bahl, managing director and chief executive officer of growX ventures. Bahl will join the board of the company.

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