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How Sachin & Apoorva built a long-range wireless network for IoT devices

Apoorva & Sachin’s startup Podnet provides a long-range wireless communication network for low power IoT devices while consuming 15 times less power.

Instant communication has solved major problems in the world. Gone are the days when a letter took months to reach, and a phone call once missed, could never be traced back. But how far can we go with instant communication?

Imagine yourself in a situation where there’s a catastrophic calamity plus no electricity & no connectivity. Keeping this in mind, Apoorva Singh & Sachin Sengar thought of building an alternative communication network as a backup for establishing communication in case of a disaster that later morphed into a communication network for IoT devices, called Podnet.

Providing long-range network solutions

Podnet, based in Bengaluru, provides a long-range wireless communication network for low power IoT devices while consuming 15 times less power than any cellular network and hence being an ideal network for low-power IoT devices. Some of the applications of the startup comprise providing network to temperature sensors in agricultural fields, pet and livestock trackers, smart dustbins in smart cities, safety monitoring in mines and factories, parking sensors, etc.

The entrepreneurial duo was inspired by a talk given by Jeremy Rifkin on “The Third Industrial Revolution”, where he highlights the fact that IoT is going to play a pivotal role in shaping the world and saving it from catastrophic effects of climate change. He stressed IoT would change the way we manage, power, and move economic activities across the value chain.

Sharing different journeys & one aim

Sachin Sengar (Right)
Sachin Sengar (Right)

The co-founders of Podnet, Sachin & Apoorva come from diverse backgrounds. Sachin, a second-year engineering dropout, has always been zestful towards business. He started his first startup in 2016 before joining goStops Hostels, one of India’s leading chain of backpacker hostels as a core team member. Apoorva, hailing from Varanasi, is a computer engineer and has also worked with a YC back startup called Legalist. He is a maker and hacker at heart and loves to learn and try his hand on the new upcoming technologies.

On challenges faced & vision for the company

The co-founders had zero experience in the network communications business and had to hence, look for people that had worked for giants like Airtel, Huawei, Erricson, etc. to gain valuable insights about the predictable future risks. For them, getting their network towers (PODs) production-ready was one of the biggest challenges.

On being asked about their current partnerships & collaborations, the entrepreneurial duo told TimesNext, “We are currently working with an eBike company called eBikego to help them do predictive maintenance of their fleet on the ground to archive unparallel operational excellence. We are also in talks with a few agri-tech startups and government of India for Smart City projects who will use our network to power their IoT devices.”

Podnet has been crowned as Hackcelerator Program by Angelhack (San Francisco Based) Global winner and even received $300,000 in commits. The company will be deploying its towers all across Bengaluru by mid-January 2020 & also plans on expanding to Hyderabad, Mumbai, Delhi, and Gurgaon by the end of 2020. The long-range network provider aims at laying down a cheap and ubiquitous communication network for billions of IoT devices that are expected to be there by 2025.