Google is investing $4.5 billion in India’s Reliance Jio Platforms less than 4 months after Facebook’s bet $5.7 billion on the company
On April 21, we wrote about Reliance Jio after Facebook invested $5.7 billion for a 9.99% stake in the largest 4G network company in India. The investment is Facebook’s biggest investment in India to date. Yesterday, Bloomberg reported yesterday is in “advanced talks” to invest $4 billion in Indian telecommunications firm Jio Platforms.
This morning, Google confirmed it’s investing $4.5 billion into Indian digital services firm Jio Platforms in exchange for a 7.7% stake in the company, which is valued at $65 billion. The investment, which is later confirmed by Google VP Sameer Samat in a blog post, comes less than four months after Facebook said it was pumping $5.7 billion into Jio Platforms.
In a blog post, Sanjay Gupta, Google Country Head & VP, India and Sameer Samat, VP of Product Management, said:
Today we signed an agreement to invest $4.5 billion (INR 33,737 crore) in Jio Platforms Ltd, taking a 7.73 percent stake in the company, pending regulatory review in India. This is the first investment from the Google For India Digitization Fund announced earlier this week, which aims to accelerate India’s digital economy over the next five to seven years through a mix of equity investments, partnerships, and operational, infrastructure and ecosystem investments.
Google said it plans to jointly develop an “entry-level affordable smartphone” with Jio Platforms that will be optimized for Android and the Play Store.
“Together we are excited to rethink, from the ground up, how millions of users in India can become owners of smartphones,” wrote Samat in the blog post. “This effort will unlock new opportunities, further power the vibrant ecosystem of applications and push innovation to drive growth for the new Indian economy.”
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.
Shri. Mukesh Ambani, Chairman, Reliance Industries Ltd. says, “Jio is about bringing people together, safely and securely. It is about inspiring people to join a movement – the digital India movement. Jio is about you and your family, friends, community and all Indians together in a movement to embrace and win in the digital world.”