Airtel Acquires Strategic Stake In Blockchain Technology Startup Aqilliz

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Under the Airtel Startup Accelerator Program, Bharti Airtel, India’s premier communications solutions provider, has acquired a strategic investment in Aqilliz, a Blockchain as a Service Company, subject to appropriate legislative approvals.

Atom, a patented hybrid blockchain platform developed by Singapore-based Aqilliz, combines differential privacy with federated learning on a distributed digital ledger. In a quickly expanding digital economy that is becoming increasingly decentralised, this allows marketers to create secure and consent-based solutions to communicate with customers.

Airtel intends to use Aqilliz’s superior blockchain technology at scale across its rapidly expanding Adtech (Airtel Ads), Digital Entertainment (Wynk Music & Airtel Xstream), and Digital Marketplace (Airtel Thanks App) services.

“We, at Airtel, are deeply researching new technologies that drive the future of a digitally connected India. This relentless focus on innovation is also enabling us to unlock new growth engines within Airtel. Blockchain technology is maturing and we see its application across areas such as Adtech, Creator Economy, and Loyalty Programs. We are thrilled to have Aqilliz join our Startup Accelerator Program and be part of Airtel’s digital innovation factory,”

Adarsh Nair, CEO, Airtel Digital, said.

“We are extremely excited to be a part of Airtel’s digital innovation play and bring this first of its kind blockchain technology to India. Legacy customer engagement, ad tech, and marketing technologies are built for centralized databases. The future of the digital economy is already pivoting to managing value exchanges between brands, platforms, and the consumer. Aqilliz’s patented technology will enable Airtel to capture and carry this value exchange in the form of consent and provenance across the digital supply chain. We look forward to working closely with the team at Airtel,”

Gowthaman Ragothaman, Founding CEO, Aqilliz said.

The Airtel Startup Accelerator Program invests in early-stage companies that are developing technologies that are related to Airtel’s commercial services. The programme allows startups to launch their ideas and applications on a global scale, with over 1 million businesses and 340 million retail customers. The Program provides mentorship from Airtel’s executive team as well as access to Airtel’s worldwide strategic partners in addition to investment.

In collaboration with Invest India, Airtel recently announced the ‘Airtel India Startup Innovation Challenge.’ Early-stage Indian startups were invited to showcase 5G, IoT, Cloud Communications, Digital Advertising, and Digital Entertainment solutions. Ten winners will get access to Airtel’s digital engineering ecosystem to collaborate on solutions, with a select few being recruited into the Airtel Startup Accelerator Program.

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