Jio Platforms ropes in another tech investor; raises funding from General Atlantic for this much stake

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Updated: May 17, 2020 6:36 PM

The latest round of investment by Jio Platforms comes in less than four weeks after it raised funding from Facebook, Silver Lake, and Vista Equity Partners.

The proposed $5.7 billion Facebook investment in Jio has reignited questions on the digital economy and the centrality of data.The round gives GA 1.34 per cent stake in Jio Platforms on a fully diluted basis.

Global private equity firm General Atlantic (GA) will invest Rs 6,598.38 crore in Reliance Industries and Jio Platforms in exchange for a 1.34 per cent stake in the company on a fully diluted basis. The latest round of investment comes in less than four weeks after Jio Platforms raised funding from Facebook, Silver Lake, and Vista Equity Partners. GA’s round values Jio Platforms at an equity value of Rs  4.91 lakh crore and an enterprise value of Rs 5.16 lakh crore, the company said on Sunday in a statement. With the current round, the digital technology platform has raised Rs 67,194.75 crore from the four leading technology investors.

“General Atlantic shares our vision of a Digital Society for India and strongly believes in the transformative power of digitization in enriching the lives of 1.3 billion Indians,” said Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, Reliance Industries. Jio Platforms currently has over 388 million subscribers and is likely to leverage GA’s experience from investing in global technology platforms such as Airbnb, Alibaba, Ant Financial, Box, ByteDance, Facebook, Slack, Snapchat, Uber etc.

“General Atlantic has a long track record working alongside founders to scale disruptive businesses, as Jio is doing at the forefront of the digital revolution in India,” said Bill Ford, CEO, General Atlantic. The fund has been investing in India for close to two decades and has backed technology businesses and startups in India including Mu Sigma, BillDesk, Byju’s, No Broker, Unacademy etc.

Also read: Trillion-dollar question: Who will be the world’s first trillionaire? Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, says new report

Global investors have been looking to have a slice of Jio Platforms, which is leveraging its existing digital user base and Reliance’s vast retail and technology network to enable small businesses, kiranas, existing and next set of internet-first users along with farmers, to dominate one of the world’s largest internet markets – India. “In just three and a half years, Jio has had a transformational impact in democratizing data and digital services, propelling India to be positioned as a leading global digital economy,” said Sandeep Naik, Managing Director and Head of India & Southeast Asia, General Atlantic.

The frantic fundraising comes amid Reliance’s aim to have zero net debt by end of this year from Rs 1.6 lakh crore currently. Importantly, the company’s biggest-ever rights issue of Rs 53,125 crore will open on Wednesday in the week ahead for shareholders’ subscription and will close on June 3, according to a company’s statement. The proceeds from the rights issue will help Reliance cut its net debt by around $7.8 billion and is credit positive, Moody’s Investors Service recently said in a note.

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