Innovation Hub USA

TORCHFI

TorchFi is the 5th startup of my life and Tampa is the 4th city I have lived in. I have been part of startups in India and Singapore, and this time I was keen to explore the market in the US. After I  moved to Tampa I got selected by a local accelerator program – Tampa Bay Wave, and they helped us to launch our product in less than 6 months. I trust, this time I have hit the right market at the right time with the right product.

Anup Balagopal TorchFi

Anup Balagopal

Founder & CEO

I started my career in the telecom industry at the beginning of the mobile app era, where I used to develop java and symbian apps for Nokia phones. I believe mobile app as a platform to engage with customers is reaching a saturation and I started TorchFi with the vision to build an alternative medium of mobile engagement that doesn’t require apps. 

TorchFi is a simple plug and play router that converts a wifi access point into an interactive application, that people can access from their phone without the need to install it. We call these wifi-apps. While the technology is really cool, it’s important to apply the technology to solve a real world problem. We have started with the restaurant industry and identified a critical problem to be solved, which lead to our first product – WiFi Waiter

WiFi Waiter allows customers to skip the long lines during rush hours, and place an order from their phone by simply connecting to the Wifi Waiter access point. This can be applied at cafes, malls, stadiums, airports, etc. While restaurants improve the customer’s ordering experience they also get to collect customer data.

TorchFi- WifiWaiter Poster

The term ‘customer data’ is often mentioned alongside ‘privacy concerns’. The beauty of TorchFi is that, it’s not an app and can’t collect any data from the customer’s phone apart from the ordering usage. This eliminates any privacy concerns and protects the consumers.

TorchFi is able to identify the customer when they visit again and allows a customer to easily repeat their order and get their favourite meal on click of a single button. This is a revolution for the brick and mortar industry as identifying a customer and personalizing their experience is only delivered by online players currently.

My goal is to revolutionize mobile engagement for all brick and mortar brands. TorchFi will enable users to place an order, pay for the purchase, search the product catalog and also chat with the brand representatives at real-time while they are present at the store. You can use this at retail stores, restaurants, malls, stadiums, airports and more.