India’s Reliance Jio raises another $752 million from Abu Dhabi Investment Authority less than two months after it raised $5 billion from Facebook
Back in April, we told you about India’s Reliance Jio after Facebook invested $5.7 billion in the Indian oil-to-telecoms conglomerate Reliance Industries to enable people connect with small businesses. Now, the company has raised new round of funding.
Last Sunday, Reliance Jio said that the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) is buying 1.16% of its digital unit Jio Platforms for 56.83 billion rupees ($752 million). The announcement comes after Facebook announced back in April that it invested $5.67 billion(₹43,574 crores) for a 9.99% stake in the company. The investment is Facebook’s biggest investment in India to date.
ADIA is one of the world’s biggest sovereign wealth funds. The organization said it will pump Rs 5,683.5 crore into Jio Platforms joining a posse of A-list global tech investors that have spent millions of dollars on the Reliance Industries unit due to its unique potential to dominate India’s booming digital economy.
Reliance, controlled by India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, has now sold just over 21% of Jio Platforms to investors including Facebook Inc, securing nearly $13 billion in less than seven weeks. “The rapid growth of the (Jio) business, which has established itself as a market leader in just four years, has been built on a strong track record of strategic execution,” Hamad Shahwan Aldhaheri, executive director in ADIA’s private equities department, said in a statement.
With estimated assets of nearly $700 billion, ADIA is chaired by the president of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan, while its deputy chairman is Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan.
With more than 376 million users, Jio Infocomm is India’s biggest telecoms firm by subscribers. Since entering the market in 2016 with free voice service and cut-price data it has forced out several rivals and driven consolidation in the sector.
Founded in 2013 by Mukesh Ambani, Reliance Jio is the largest 4G network in India offering high speed mobile internet access through an engaging digital ecosystem for a seamless experience. Jio is aiming to cover 90% of India’s population in the next 18-24 months.