Google to invest $4.5bn in Jio Platforms for 7.73% stake

Google Jio combo logo

MUMBAI: Google will invest Rs 33,737 crore (Rs 337.37 billion, $4.5 billion) in Jio Platforms, Reliance Industries chair and managing director Mukesh Ambani announced on Wednesday during the company’s online Annual General Meeting. 

This investment by Google values Jio Platforms at an equity value of Rs 436,000 crore. Google’s investment will translate into a 7.73% equity stake in Jio Platforms on a fully diluted basis. 

This is Jio Platforms’s second biggest external investment so far, behind Facebook’s $5.7 billion (Rs 435.74 billion) investment for a 9.99% stake announced in April.  

With this, the total investment from financial and strategic investors into Jio Platforms stands at Rs 152,056 crore (Rs 1,520.56 billion).

Google CEO Sundar Pichai confirmed in a video message that this investment is a part of the company’s Google For India Digitization Fund, announced on Monday, and said that it would be the biggest investment Google will make from it. This means that 45% of Google’s fund will be invested in Jio.

Jio Platforms and Google have also entered into a commercial agreement to jointly develop an entry level affordable smartphone with optimizations to the Android operating system and the Play Store.

Ambani said: “We welcome Google onboard and are excited about our partnership for what it can deliver to Indians, from universalising Internet usage to deepening the new digital economy and providing a prime mover to India’s economic growth. Together, we hope to play a strong facilitative role in the transformative journey of building a new, Digital India.”

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, said: “The pace and scale of digital transformation in India is hugely inspiring for us and reinforces our view that building products for India first helps us build better products for users everywhere. Google is proud to invest ₹ 33,737 crore into Jio. I am excited that our joint collaboration will focus on increasing access for hundreds of millions of Indians who don’t currently own a smartphone while improving the mobile experience for all.”

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