FILE PHOTO: Mukesh Ambani (right) with his son Akash before addressing shareholders in Mumbai
INDIA’s Reliance Industries has announced that the US fund General Atlantic will invest $870 million in Jio Platforms, a fourth deal that takes investment in its digital unit to over $8 billion in less than a month.
General Atlantic will pick up a 1.34 per cent stake in Jio Platforms which includes movie, music apps as wells telecoms venture Jio Infocomm.
Reliance, controlled by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, last month forged a $5.7 billion deal with Facebook for a 9.99 per cent stake in Jio Platforms.
Days later it secured a $750 million investment from private equity firm Silver Lake.
The deals, along with Reliance’s plan to sell $7 billion in new shares, will help the Mumbai-based oil-to-telecoms giant meet its target of eliminating $21.4 billion in net debt this year.
They also underscore the strength of a digital business which Ambani has built over the past four years in an effort to diversify Reliance way from petrochemicals and refining.
Ambani, Asia’s richest man, launched the Jio telecoms venture in late 2016, driving several rivals out of the market and pushing others to consolidate.
He’s often said “data is the new oil”.
He has pitched Jio as a tech company with capabilities to build smart homes, making it a possible rival to Amazon’s Alexa-based solutions, connected cars and security systems.
Jio Platforms is the umbrella entity of all the digital and internet businesses of Reliance, including mobile apps, broadband connectivity, smart devices, cloud computing, big data analytics, artificial intelligence, internet of things, augmented and mixed reality, and blockchain.
“We are excited to leverage General Atlantic’s proven global expertise and strategic insights across 40 years of technology investing for the benefit of Jio,” said Reliance Chairman Ambani.
General Atlantic invests in sectors such as technology, financial services and healthcare, including stakes in Airbnb, Alibaba, ByteDance and Facebook.