Jio Platforms raises Rs. 6,598 crore from General Atlantic
Jio Platforms, the entity holding telecom and digital businesses of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), has raised Rs. 6,598 crore ($869.8 million) from US-based private equity firm General Atlantic. The investment comes as the fourth big fund-raise for the Mukesh Ambani-owned telecom operator in the last one month, following its recent deals with Facebook, Silver Lake, and Vista Equity Partners. Here's all about it.
On Sunday, General Atlantic issued a statement announcing that the firm is investing Rs. 6,598.38 crore for a 1.34% stake in Jio Platforms. "This investment values Jio Platforms at an equity value of Rs. 4.91 lakh crore and an enterprise value of Rs. 5.16 lakh crore," Reliance said while noting that the deal reaffirms Jio's position as a next-generation software and platform company.
Jio Platforms dominates India's digital space; within just three-and-a-half years of launch, its telecom business - Jio Infocomm - became the biggest in the country with a whopping 388 million subscribers. And, that is not it. Jio Platforms also holds Reliance's home broadband business Jio Fiber, feature phone business, music streaming service JioSaavn, on-demand live television service, and a payments service, among other things.
"I am thrilled to welcome General Atlantic... 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," Mukesh Ambani said. He added, "We are excited to leverage General Atlantic's proven global expertise and strategic insights across 40 years of technology investing for the benefit of Jio."
General Atlantic has invested in some very high profile companies across four key sectors: consumer, financial services, healthcare, and technology. The companies in the firm's portfolio are Airbnb, Alibaba, Ant Financial, ByteDance, Facebook, Slack, Snapchat, Uber as well as Indian firms Byju's, NoBroker, and Unacademy. As of last year, the company had over $35 billion worth of assets under management.
"As long-term backers of global technology leaders and visionary entrepreneurs, we could not be more excited about investing in Jio. We share Mukesh's conviction that digital connectivity has the potential to significantly accelerate the Indian economy and drive growth across the country."
The latest investment takes the total funds raised by Jio Platforms within the last one month to Rs. 67,194.75 crore. Prior to this, the company had sold a 9.99% stake to Facebook for Rs. 43,574 crore, 1.15% stake to Silver Lake for Rs. 5,655.75 crore, and a 2.32% stake to Vista Equity for Rs. 11,367 crore.
All these investments would ultimately help Ambani fulfill his goal of making Reliance Industries debt-free by early 2021. The company has a total net debt of Rs. 1.61 lakh crore, of which it expects to raise Rs. 1.04 lakh crore by June, Chief Financial Officer Srikanth Venkatachari had said in a recent earnings call. The rest is expected to be cleared by the year-end.