Velmenni has developed an in-house wireless backhaul point-to-point link to tackle fiberisation problems encountered by telecom operators and internet service providers. Their technology utilises light to transmit data at gigabit speeds, providing a cost-effective alternative to laying fibre, which often faces obstacles like right of way issues and slow approval processes.
Deepak Solanki, the Co-Founder and CEO of Velmenni, mentioned that the startup is currently conducting trials with multiple operators in India and abroad. They have successfully completed four commercial trials with Indian telcos and ISPs from 2022 to 2023 and have five more scheduled for the third quarter. Additionally, Velmenni has secured a commercial deal with an infrastructure company to implement backhaul at a power plant using Li-Fi technology.
While Bharti Airtel and Google’s parent company, Alphabet, have partnered to deliver high-speed internet in rural areas using laser beams (FSOC), Velmenni’s focus lies on backhauling instead of consumer-facing applications. Solanki explained that challenges such as the cost of LED bulbs, lack of chipsets, interoperability issues, and the need for an external dongle for Li-Fi access point connection have hindered Li-Fi adoption in the consumer space.
Velmenni has received financial support from the Department of Telecommunications through the Digital Communication Innovation Square scheme. The startup invested approximately $2.5 million in research and development over the last five years and recently secured a $1 million investment from Rosemerta Technologies. Solanki aims to raise an additional $2 million in the next funding round.
Moreover, Velmenni has generated revenue by providing proof of concepts and selling their commercial product to the Indian Army for indoor solutions. The company plans to reduce reliance on sourcing crucial printed circuit boards (PCBs) from China in the future. Overall, Velmenni’s wireless backhaul technology presents a promising solution to fiberisation challenges, particularly in India, where laying fibre can be particularly challenging.