GAIUS Networks Chosen for Facebook Accelerator Program

Start-up co-founded by researchers at NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU New York seeks to make mobile technologies more accessible to those in regions without broadband.

Press Release

GAIUS Networks, co-founded by researchers at New York University Abu Dhabi and New York University, has been selected for Facebook Accelerator London’s program — a 12-week session that pairs start-ups with the team at Facebook’s London lab.

GAIUS Networks, which provides innovative mobile content for companies and users in emerging markets that lack access to broadband, was one of 13 start-ups selected from more than 600 applications.

“The start-ups we’ve selected are harnessing the power of technology to create positive impact on the world, including improving digital connectivity around the globe.”

Facebook said in announcing the selections

GAIUS Networks’ co-founders include Lakshminarayanan Subramanian, a professor at NYU’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, and NYU Abu Dhabi’s Yasir Zaki, an assistant professor in computer science, and Thomas Poetsch, an assistant lecturer in computer science.

Serving More Than 22,000 Users In Several Countries

GAIUS Networks, also co-founded by CEO Arjuna Sathiaseelan, seeks to make mobile technologies more accessible to those in regions without broadband — nearly half the world’s population — by enabling the creation of simplified content that is less reliant on access speed.

GAIUS, its core platform, aims to benefit the estimated three billion users around the globe lacking broadband access with an innovative browser that enables hyper-local communities in emerging markets to create, interact, and monetize content relevant to their users — and in their own languages. In doing so, GAIUS removes these regions’ dependency on the World Wide Web, immensely broadening access to digital content in the process.

Notably, GAIUS-backed pages are 60 percent lower in size and download 90 percent faster than traditional mobile browsers — a feature that empowers the creation of content ecosystems that are not dependent on broadband.

GAIUS Networks Achievements

  • Worked with a network of colleges in India to offer technology workshops and help students find promising career opportunities
  • Established partnerships in India with community radio stations, which have used the platform to deliver pre-recorded audio content for their users to download on demand
  • Launched in Kenya in a joint partnership with Liquid Telecom and has signed operator partnership agreements in Malawi with Converged Technology Networks and Tanzania with the Tanzania Community Networks Alliance
  • Partnered with India’s YOYO Cabs to power the company’s app screens on cabs
  • Collaborated with Kenya’s Tunapanda Institute to enhance free course offerings in technology, design, and entrepreneurship for disadvantaged young people in Nairobi’s Kibera neighborhood

About NYU Abu Dhabi

NYU Abu Dhabi is the first comprehensive liberal arts and research campus in the Middle East to be operated abroad by a major American research university. NYU Abu Dhabi has integrated a highly selective undergraduate curriculum across the disciplines with a world center for advanced research and scholarship. The university enables its students in the sciences, engineering, social sciences, humanities, and arts to succeed in an increasingly interdependent world and advance cooperation and progress on humanity’s shared challenges. NYU Abu Dhabi’s high-achieving students have come from over 115 countries and speak over 115 languages. Together, NYU's campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai form the backbone of a unique global university, giving faculty and students opportunities to experience varied learning environments and immersion in other cultures at one or more of the numerous study-abroad sites NYU maintains on six continents.