After raising over $8.022 Bn (INR 60,596.37 Cr) in three weeks, Reliance’s Jio Platform is now reportedly in talks with private equity firm General Atlantic to raise another $850 Mn to $950 Mn.
According to a BloombergQuint report, the deal could close this month, though, no agreements have been signed yet and the deal may not follow through.
Meanwhile, another Bloomberg report added that Saudi Arabia’s $320 Bn sovereign wealth fund is also exploring an opportunity to invest in Jio Platforms, which is the umbrella company for all Reliance Industries’ digital services, in exchange for a minority stake. The report, too, added that the talks are underway and may not lead to a final deal.
Currently, Reliance Industries Limited is the largest stakeholder in Jio Platforms, followed by Facebook and Vista Equity Partner. The new dynamics have come up after Reliance Jio’s funding spree this month.
Facebook acquired a 9.99% stake in Jio Platforms after investing INR 43,574 Cr ($5.7 Bn) in the company, whereas Vista Equity Partners acquired a 2.32% stake for INR 11,367 Cr ($1.5 Bn). Meanwhile, Silver Lake has invested INR 5,655 Cr ($746 Mn) in the Jio Platform, which has Reliance Jio, MyJio, JioTV, JioCinema, JioNews and JioSaavn under one banner.
Reliance Industries Limited, in the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) filing announcing Facebook fundraise, highlighted that in the post-Covid era, comprehensive digitization will be an absolute necessity for the revitalisation of the Indian economy. Therefore, the company is looking to use this funding to boost inclusive and rapid digitization.
“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 company added.
Meanwhile, the investors are betting on Jio Platforms due to its access to India’s consumer market and the potential to disrupt the traditional markets. One of the main brands under Jio Platforms is Reliance Jio, which is the biggest telecom service provider with 32.56% market share and more than 388 Mn users in India.
According to a report by a market research Kantar Millward Brown, published last year, Reliance Jio is expected to become one of the top 100 global brands as it continues to grow at an annual rate of 68%, compared to 2017.
The current list of top 100 includes a few Indian companies including HDFC Bank with a brand value of $22,705 Mn, state-owned LIC with $20,314 Mn brand valuation, and Tata Consultancy Services with $14,282 Mn valuation. HDFC was present on last year’s list as well, whereas LIC and TCS made debuts this year.