Facebook invests $5.7 billion (Rs. 43,574 crore) in Jio
Finally, Facebook has confirmed the long-rumored plan of teaming up with Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries. The social media giant has announced a $5.7 billion, or Rs. 43,574 crore, investment in conglomerate's three-and-a-half-year-old subsidiary Jio Platforms Limited. Jio is India's biggest telecom operator with a subscriber base of more than 388 million. Here's more about the deal.
Plan to take up 9.99% stake
According to the deal, which puts Jio's pre-money value at $65.95 billion or Rs. 4.62 lakh crore, Facebook will pick up a 9.99% stake in Jio Platforms on a fully-diluted basis, becoming its largest minority shareholder. Jio Platforms, to recall, has been operating as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries and providing all the digital services the conglomerate has on offer.
How Facebook plans to utilize this investment
Facebook says it hopes to create new opportunities for businesses in India, especially the small ones, by utilizing Jio's reach. "They account for the majority of jobs in the country, and form the heart and soul of rural and urban communities alike," the company said, adding that "it is important that we...lay the groundwork to help people and businesses in the years to come."
WhatsApp-JioMart collaboration possible
One way, Facebook says, Jio-Facebook partnership could help businesses operate more effectively in the growing digital era is by bringing together JioMart and WhatsApp. This could eventually make JioMart products more accessible to the general public, allowing it to connect more quickly with small sellers on the platform and make purchases with a seamless mobile experience.
Many more possibilities with Jio-Facebook team up
Along with the JioMart-WhatsApp tie-up, we expect to see Jio collaborate with Facebook in a lot more areas of the digital space. The company has created an eco-system comprising network, devices, applications, content, service experiences and affordable tariffs for every Indian, while Facebook is the biggest social media company in the world. WhatsApp alone reaches 80% of India's smartphone user base.
Largest FDI in India's technology space
The deal also marks the largest FDI in India's technology sector and the largest investment for a minority stake by a technology company. "The investment values Jio Platforms amongst the top 5 listed companies in India by market capitalization, within just three-and-a-half years of launch of commercial services, validating RIL's capability in incubating and building disruptive next-generation businesses," Reliance said in a statement.
Mukesh Ambani's statement on the deal
Commenting on the deal, Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, Reliance Industries Ltd, said, "The synergy between Jio and Facebook will help realize PM Modi's 'Digital India' Mission with its two ambitious goals — 'Ease of Living' and 'Ease of Doing Business' - for every Indian." "In the post-Corona era, I am confident of India's recovery in the shortest period of time," he added.