Facebook buys 9.99% stake in Reliance Jio with an investment of $ 5.7 billion

Story Highlights
  • Facebook acquires 9.99% stake in Reliance Jio for Rs 43,574 crore
  • Jio has emerged as the number one telecom operator in India, both in terms of traffic as well as revenue

Technology: Reliance Industries Limited, Jio Platforms Limited  and Facebook, today announced the signing of binding agreements for an investment of ₹ 43,574 crore ($5.7 billion, assuming a conversion rate of Rs70 to a US Dollar) by Facebook into Jio Platforms. Facebook’s investment will translate into a 9.99% equity stake in Jio Platforms on a fully diluted basis.

This investment by Facebook values Jio Platforms at ₹ 4.62 lakh crore pre-money enterprise value.The partnership between Facebook and Jio is unprecedented in many ways. This is the largest investment for a minority stake by a technology company anywhere in the world and the largest FDI in the technology sector in India.Both companies, in separate statements, said that they will work together on some major projects that will open up commerce opportunities for people across India.

This is especially important right now, because small businesses are the core of every economy and they need our support. India has more than 60 million small businesses and millions of people rely on them for jobs,” Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post.

“With communities around the world in lockdown, many of these entrepreneurs need digital tools they can rely on to find and communicate with customers and grow their businesses,” he said. 

Commenting on the partnership with Facebook, Mr Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, Reliance Industries Ltd, said, “When Reliance launched Jio in 2016, we were driven by the dream of INDIA’S DIGITAL SARVODAYA – India’s Inclusive Digital Rise to improve the quality of life of every single Indian and to propel India as the world’s leading Digital Society. All of us at Reliance are therefore humbled by the opportunity to welcome Facebook as our long-term partner in continuing to grow and transform the digital ecosystem of India for the benefit of all Indians. The synergy between Jio and Facebook will help realise Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s ‘Digital 

India’ Mission with its two ambitious goals – ‘Ease of Living’ and ‘Ease of Doing Business’ – for every single category of Indian people without exception. In the post-Corona era, I am confident of India’s economic recovery and resurgence in the shortest period of time. The partnership will surely make an important contribution to this transformation.

According to the media release, the companies state that, “Our goal with this investment is to enable new opportunities for businesses of all sizes, but especially for small businesses across India and create new and exciting digital ecosystems that will empower, enrich and uplift the lives of all 1.3 billion Indians. This partnership will accelerate India’s all-round development, fulfilling the needs of Indian people and the Indian economy. Our focus will be India’s 60 million micro, small and medium businesses, 120 million farmers, 30 million small merchants and millions of small and medium enterprises in the informal sector, in addition to empowering people seeking various digital services. The partnership assumes special significance for India in the wake of the severe disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic in the Indian and the global economy.” 

It further emphasized the absolute necessity for comprehensive digitalisation for the revitalization of the Indian economy in the post-COVID era. 

As one of the largest countries in the world, India is home to some of Facebook’s most thriving communities on WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram. Over the years, Facebook has invested in India based on a strong belief in India’s entrepreneurial talent and opportunity, to help create meaningful impact for Indians and Indian businesses using their multiple platforms.

Jio Platforms, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited, is a next-generation technology company building a Digital Society for India by bringing together Jio’s leading digital apps, digital ecosystems and India’s 1st high speed connectivity platform under one umbrella.

Jio has built a world-class digital platform powered by leading technologies such as Broadband connectivity, Smart Devices, Cloud and Edge Computing, Big Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Augmented and Mixed Reality and Blockchain. Jio has created an ecosystem comprising network, devices, applications, content, service experiences and affordable tariffs for every Indian to experience the Jio Digital Life. During the current Covid-19 crisis, Jio’s platforms have been a dependable and inclusive Digital Lifeline for our Nation.

Concurrent with the investment, Jio Platforms, Reliance Retail and WhatsApp have also entered into a commercial partnership agreement to further accelerate Reliance Retail’s New Commerce business on the JioMart platform using WhatsApp and to support small businesses on WhatsApp.

“In the very near future, JioMart – Jio’s digital new commerce platform, and Whatsapp – will empower nearly 3 crore small Indian Kirana shops to digitally transact with every customer in their neighbourhood. This means all of you can order and get faster delivery of day-to-day items, from nearby local shops,” Ambani said.

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