Google joins India’s Jio with $4.5 billion investment
Asia’s richest man is getting one more massive investment from Silicon Valley as in India; he grows his technology empire.
Google will pump $4.5 billion into Jio Platforms of Mukesh Ambani, the digital technology arm of sprawling conglomerate Reliance Industries. That will gives Google a 7.7% stake in the company, the companies declared on Wednesday.
The investment involves a deal to collectively develop an entry-level, affordable smartphone. And “develop the profits of digitization across India’s length and broadness,” they said. The deal values with Jio is about $58 billion.
Jio Platforms covers the most prominent mobile network in India, and the platforms have more than 388 million subscribers.
Jio also has an application ecosystem, offering to smartphone users everything from online grocery shopping to digital payments offer and video streaming.
The company has been on a mad fundraising spree in recent few months. Including the Google investment, Jio has gathered roughly $20 billion since April from investors, including Qualcomm, Intel, KKR, Silver Lake, Mubadala, and Vista, sovereign wealth fund of Abu Dhabi. Facebook has funded $5.7 billion for a 9.99% stake.
It was not instantly clear whether Google’s investment in Jio Platforms was a part of that whole. Still, the Silicon Valley firm said earlier this week that its investment would require investments of equity, partnerships, and spending on infrastructure over the next five to seven years.
India is the world’s fastest-growing internet business market, with almost 700 million internet users. The country has brought an investment of billions of dollars over the last 15 years not only from Facebook and Google. But also from Amazon, Twitter, and Netflix, which rushed to cash in on the internet rush.
The numbers reflect that there is still huge growth potential, despite red flags raised by the government efforts to exert more online control and India’s economic slump. Along with Ambani’s fundraising spree, Google’s plans show investors are ready to commit even more.
China dominates India’s smartphone market and tech giants Alibaba, and Tencent is significant investors of valuable startups of some country’s. But tension raised between the close trading partners and neighbors, and India banned 59 Chinese applications. Including TikTok, claiming that the app poses a threat to national security.