What's your first memory of the Web? Read our detailed timeline of India's internet history

Today, India has the world’s second-largest internet population and the cheapest data rates (with 1GB costing Rs 5 on Jio's 4G network).
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It's hard to remember a time without the internet. Now, we rely on the Web for almost everything — information, social interactions, official communication, leisure activities, and more. But, did you know that the Indian internet is only 25 years old

It all started in 1995 when the government-owned Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited (VSNL) launched the Gateway Internet Access Service. The first dial-up line offered a speed of 9.6 kbps and was priced at a whopping Rs 5,000 for 250 hours for individuals, and Rs 15,000 or above for commercial users.

Today, India has the world’s second-largest internet population and the cheapest data rates (with 1GB costing Rs 5 on Jio's 4G network). Take a trip down the memory lane of India's connectivity journey, and tell us about your first memory of using the internet.

Infographic: Aditya Ranade

India’s largest online learning startup BYJU'S acquired WhiteHat Jr. for $300 million, in an all-cash deal. What is interesting is that founder Byju Raveendran’s six-year-old son Nish too played a part in this acquisition.

During a chat with YourStory Founder and CEO Shradha Sharma, Byju revealed that he got his son on the WhiteHat Jr. platform around the time he started conversations with the Mumbai startup, in a bid to evaluate the platform.

Byju's Founder & CEO Byju Raveendran

In 2010, a time when Indian venture capitalists were busy chasing consumer-facing businesses, Mark Kahn wanted to set up a venture fund for investing in food and agribusinesses.

Roping in Jinesh Shah as his co-founder, Mark launched Omnivore (earlier Omnivore Partners) in 2010 as one of India’s first sector-specific VC funds. Today, it manages a capital of Rs 950 crore. 

Photo: YourStory

Indian startups raised a total of $4.16 billion in equity funding in the first half (H1) of 2020, according to YourStory Research, the research arm of YourStory. While funding amounts fell amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, trends show that COVID-19 has pushed investors to look for promising startups in less explored territories.

Chennai rising high on startup funding ladder


The journey of Zilingo’s Dhruv Kapoor

Dhruv Kapoor, Co-founder and CTO of the Southeast Asian ecommerce unicorn Zilingo, technology has the power to expand every field from research to ecommerce.


How Nilkamal became a Rs 2,200 Cr company

Mihir Parekh, Executive Director, Nilkamal Limited

Started at a rented premise in Mumbai, Nilkamal diversified from manufacturing plastic buckets to material handling, furniture, mattresses and packaging businesses. 


The startup making UAVs for India’s Special Forces

Drone developed by Vinveli | Image Source: Team Vinveli

Vinveli makes indigenous UAVs or drones for Special Forces under the Ministry of Home Affairs, such as the National Security Guard and the Central Reserve Police Force, and more.


Contactless kiranas post-COVID-19

The race to make the kirana stores contactless will be won by technology, which is easy to use and connects the supply and demand side of the mom and pop store ecosystem.


The journey of Metro Shoes, founded in 1947

Farah Malik Bhanji, CEO, Metro Brands

When India became independent, shoe salesman Malik Tejani started Metro Shoes. Today, the brand has a network of over 550 stores across 128 cities.


Technology is disrupting Indian healthcare

Experts from the healthcare industry agree that while telemedicine has been around for a long time now, its importance was realised only during the pandemic situation.


How Stellapps began a second ‘milk revolution’

The founding team of Stellapps

Stellapps is a farm-to-consumer dairy digitisation service provider that improves productivity, enhances quality, and ensures end-to-end traceability across the dairy supply chain.


Quote of the day:
“The current pandemic has forced us to rethink our business strategy. We are focusing on digitising all aspects of the business. With the current and changing environment, we are looking at increasing online sales, digital marketing, and making efforts to improve our technology focus as physical retail is shifting to online platforms.”
— Mihir Parekh, Executive Director, Nilkamal Limited

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