Google invests heavily in Jio Platforms, Reliance Group’s push for 5G | The Daily Star
04:50 PM, July 15, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 04:53 PM, July 15, 2020

Google invests heavily in Jio Platforms, Reliance Group’s push for 5G

Global tech giant Google will invest over Rs 33,737 crore (close to four billion dollars) for 7.7 percent stake in Jio Platforms, India's leading business group, Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani said today.

Addressing the company's virtual annual general meeting, he also announced that Jio is developing a complete 5G solution from scratch which would be launched as soon as 5G spectrum is available.

"We are delighted to welcome Google as a strategic investor in Jio Platforms. We have signed a binding partnership and an investment agreement under which Google will invest Rs 33,737 crores for a 7.7 percent stake in Jio Platforms," Ambani said.

Google's investment pushes the cumulative fund-raising by Reliance Industries to Rs 2,12,809 crore in less than three months, which includes investments in Jio Platforms and the rights issue, worth Rs 53,124 crore.

Reliance Industries said the transaction between Google and Jio is subject to regulatory and other customary approvals.

Jio Platforms is the technology venture Reliance Industries, which houses telecom company Reliance Jio Infocomm.

This is the 14th investment in Jio Platforms since April 22, as Google joined a raft of global private equity firms which have invested in Jio in the past three months. The investors in Jio Platforms include the US-based Facebook, General Atlantic, KKR and Intel Corporation, Quallcomm, Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, as well as Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund.

Ambani, the world's sixth richest man, said the target of capital raise for Jio Platforms has been completed with the onboarding of Google.

Proceeds from the stake sales in Jio Platforms along with the Rs 53,124 crore raised in a rights issue in June and from sale of 49 percent stake in its fuel retail network to British Petroleum last year for Rs 7,000 crore, will help in making Ambani's company net debt-free, Reliance had said last month, once the promised funds come in (75 percent of the funds from the rights issue will come in next year).

As of March, Reliance had a net-debt of over Rs 1.6 lakh crore.

Ambani said video conferencing app JioMeet has seen five million downloads within days of its launch.

The announcement about Google investing in Jio Platforms came a day after the tech giant announced plans to spend $10 billion in India in the next five to seven years to help accelerate the adoption of digital technologies in the country.

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