Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) and Reliance Jio Platforms has raised INR 730 Cr from California-based venture capital firm Qualcomm Ventures, the investment wing of Qualcomm, the world’s leading mobile chipset and modem maker.
This is the 13th investment for Reliance Jio in the past three months. Qualcomm is investing in Jio Platforms at an equity value of INR 4.91 Lakh Cr and an enterprise value of INR 5.16 Lakh Cr. The investment gives Qualcomm 0.15% stake in Reliance Jio on a fully diluted basis. In its statement, Reliance said the deal would help accelerate the rollout of the 5G networks in India. Qualcomm is one of the few smartphone chipset makers which produces mobile chipsets with integrated 5G modems. Most leading smartphones in India are backed by Qualcomm chipsets.
With this latest investment from Qualcomm Ventures, Jio Platform has raised a total of INR 118,318.45 Cr from leading investors, including Facebook, Silver Lake, General Atlantic, KKR, TPG Capital, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), Mubadala Investment Company, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, L Catterton, Vista Equity Partner and Intel Capital since April 22. The last investment in Jio was by Intel Capital, which picked up a 0.39% equity stake for an investment of INR 1,894.50 Cr ($253 Mn).
RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani said that the Qualcomm investment will help Reliance Jio fast-track its 5G vision and support the company’s mission to digitally empower Indian consumers and enterprises. Since 2016, Reliance Jio has become the defacto flagbearer of digital growth in the Indian market. Reliance Jio and the company’s various digital businesses were clubbed under Jio Platforms late last year. In the last four years, Jio has added dozens of products and services centred around 4G services and home broadband, including JioSaavn, JioTV, JioCinema, JioMoney, JioNews, Ajio, JioMart and even launched a video conferencing product JioMeet to meet the growing demand, among others.
Emphasising on the emerging use cases of 5G, which is expected to transform connectivity for industry and consumers, Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf said that the company is looking forward to playing a role in Jio’s vision for India’s digital economy.
While its past investments in Indian startups pale in comparison to the Jio deal, Qualcomm Ventures has been active in the technology sector. It has invested in Portea Medical, MoveInSync, Ninjacart, and MindTickle among other companies.