New Delhi: US tech giant Facebook announced that it would invest Rs 43,574 crore ($5.7 billion) in RIL’s wholly-owned subsidiary Jio Platforms to expand its presence in India. Facebook’s investment translates into 9.9 per cent stake in Jio. This would be Facebook’s biggest minority shareholding ever. This is also the largest foreign direct investment for minority investment in India.
The company said: “Today we are announcing a $5.7 billion, or INR 43,574 crore, investment in Jio Platforms Limited, part of Reliance Industries Limited, making Facebook its largest minority shareholder.
“The investment by Facebook values Jio Platforms at Rs 4.62 trillion pre-money enterprise value ($65.95 billion, assuming a conversion rate of Rs 70 to a US Dollar).”
Reliance Jio, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries, has been the fastest-growing telecom network in the country since its launch in 2016. Jio has more than 388 million customers in India.
The company added, “Our goal is to enable new opportunities for businesses of all sizes, but especially for the more than 60 million small businesses across India.
They account for the majority of jobs in the country, and form the heart and soul of rural and urban communities alike. In the face of the coronavirus, it is important that we both combat this global pandemic now, and lay the groundwork to help people and businesses in the years to come.”
Facebook said that its focus would be to create ways for people and businesses to operate more effectively in a digitally growing economy. WhatsApp and Instagram, which are now a major part of lives of Indian people, are also owned by Facebook.
“We are excited about furthering our investment in India’s vibrant digital economy. Our efforts with Jio will be focused on opening new doors and fuelling India’s economic growth and the prosperity of its people. We look forward to working with Jio, and to future collaborations in India to advance this vision”, the company added.
Jio has built digital platform powered by technologies such as broadband connectivity, smart devices, cloud and edge computing, big data analytics, artificial intelligence, internet of things, augmented and mixed reality and blockchain.
Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, “India is home to the largest communities on Facebook and WhatsApp, and a lot of talented entrepreneurs. The country is in the middle of a major digital transformation and organizations like Jio have played a big part in getting hundreds of millions of Indian people and small businesses online.”