Facebook buys 9.9% stake in Reliance Jio, largest FDI in India’s tech sector

22 April, 2020 | newsx bureau

Jio Facebook Business

Mark Zuckerberg becomes the second global partner of Reliance ventures after the Saudi Aramco deal. Announces the investment of Rs 43,574 crore ($5.7 billion) in Reliance Jio, the telecom unit of ...

Social media giant Facebook on Wednesday announced to invest Rs 43,574 crore into Jio Platforms, the investment will translate into a 9.99 per cent equity stake in Jio Platforms, the largest FDI in the Indian tech sector.

Reliance Industries Limited, Jio Platforms Limited, and Facebook, Inc. on Wednesday announced the signing of binding agreements for an investment of Rs 43,574 crore by Facebook into Jio Platforms. Facebook’s investment will translate into a 9.99 per cent equity stake in Jio Platforms on a fully diluted basis, a statement issued by the Reliance Industries Limited read.

This investment by Facebook values Jio Platforms at Rs4.62 lakh crore pre-money enterprise value ($65.95 billion, assuming a conversion rate of Rs 70 to a US Dollar).
Commenting on the partnership with Facebook, 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.”

Watch the video message here:

Ambani said “the synergy between Jio and Facebook will help realise Prime Minister 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,” he added.

Concurrent with the latest development, Jio Platforms, Reliance Retail Limited 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.The digital transformation of India’s neighbourhood grocers or small businesses like ‘Kirana’ stores occupies a central role in the early outcomes expected from the Facebook-Jio deal.

The investment values Jio Platforms amongst the top 5 listed companies in India by market capitalization, within just three and a half years of the launch of commercial services, validating Reliance Industries’ capability in incubating and building disruptive next-generation businesses, while delivering market-defining shareholder value.

Jio Platforms, wholly-owned by Reliance Industries Limited, brings together Jio’s digital apps, ecosystems and a high-speed connectivity platform under one umbrella.
As India is home to some of Facebook’s most thriving communities on WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram, therefore, this deal with Jio allows it to wade deeper into the Indian market.

“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,” the statement read.

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,” said Reliance Industries Limited.

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.

RIL posted a record quarterly profit in results released in January. Retail and telecom topline rose more than 25 percent in the December quarter. “In the post-Corona era, comprehensive digitalisation will be an absolute necessity for the revitalisation of the Indian economy.

It is our common belief and commitment that no Indian should be deprived of the tremendous new opportunities, including opportunities for new employment and new businesses, in the process of India’s 360-degree digital transformation. The partnership between WhatsApp and Jio will surely make an important contribution to this transformation,” Ambani said.