Another major investment in India’s biggest tech and telecom firm Jio was announced earlier this week. This is the third time in about three weeks that the company has attracted major investment after a huge investment in the company by the social media company Facebook.
An investment of almost 114 billion rupees ($1.5 billion) will be made by the United States based investment firm Vista Equity into the Jio Platforms – the digital technology arm of Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s sprawling conglomerate Reliance Industries.
With this investment, the market valuation of Jio is now at about $65 billion, Reliance said.
“Like our other partners, Vista also shares with us the same vision of continuing to grow and transform the Indian digital ecosystem for the benefit of all Indians,” Ambani said in a statement.
This large investment in the Indian company is the third such large investment for the growing tech empire in less than three weeks. Earlier in late April, an investment of $5.7 billion was made by Facebook in Jio Platforms while $750 million in the company was invested by the private equity firm Silver Lake earlier this week.
With this investment that would give it a a 2.3 per cent stake, Vista becomes the third largest investor in Jio Platforms, preceded by Reliance Industries and Facebook. The deal needs to be approved by the regulators.
There are a number of services offered under the umbrella of Jio Platforms – including the mobile network that has taken India by storm since it was launched less than four years ago – Reliance Jio. The mobile network now has a total of more than 388 million users in India and has driven out of business Ambani’s brother and rival. The company has also forced major restructuring in the industry in India with mergers. A family of apps where users can stream movies, shop online, send text messages, read news and more is also offered under the Jio Platforms umbrella.
Investing in software, data and technology companies is the main focus for Vista Equity which has over $57 billion in capital commitment.
Its investment in Jio will help fuel “exponential growth in connectivity across India”, said Robert Smith, Vista chairman and CEO, in a statement.
There is an internet boom currently ongoing in India. Apart from being the second largest smartpohone market of the world, India is also a market where it is estimated that there are hundreds of millions of users who are waiting in the ranks to join the growing digital economy.
And the scope for growth in the market is immense because despite the high numbers, there are about 600 million people in the country who are still not connected to the internet through phones.
It is this prospect that has attracted the likes of Alibaba, Amazon, Google, Tencent, SoftBank and many other large players of the global tech industry who are investing billions to get a share of the internet market of India.
(Adapted from CNN.com)