- 20 May 2021
Amid the global crisis of COVID-19, the US social media giant Facebook has signed a deal worth USD 5.7 billion (₹ 43574 crore) to by 9.99% equity stake in Jio Platforms in an unprecedented minor stake investment to boost small businesses in India. After the investment the three and half years old Jio Platforms will be amongst top five companies in India by market capitalization. This is largest minor stake investment globally and largest FDI in technology sector in India.
Reliance Industries Limited the parent company of Jio Platforms in a media release on April 22, 2020 said that “Reliance Industries Limited (“Reliance Industries”), Jio Platforms Limited (“Jio Platforms”) and Facebook, Inc. (“Facebook”) today announced the signing of binding agreements for an investment of ₹ 43,574 crore by Facebook into Jio Platforms. This investment by Facebook values Jio Platforms at ₹ 4.62 lakh crore pre-money enterprise value ($65.95 billion, assuming a conversion rate of ₹ 70 to a US Dollar). Facebook’s investment will translate into a 9.99% equity stake in Jio Platforms on a fully diluted basis.”.
The media release further mentioned that “Our goal with this investment is to enable new opportunities for businesses of all sizes, but especially for small businesses across India and create new and exciting digital ecosystems that will empower, enrich and uplift the lives of all 1.3 billion Indians.”
The investment focusing mainly on India’s 60 million micro, small and medium businesses, 120 million farmers, 30 million small merchants and millions of small and medium enterprises in the informal sector will help India’s all-round development and fulfill the needs of Indian people and Economy. Also this investment will be vital for post COVID-19 era comprehensive digitalization to revive the Indian Economy.
The investment deal transaction is subject to regulatory and other customary approvals and is assisted by Morgan Stanley as financial advisor and AZB & Partners and Davis Polk & Wardwell as counsels advised on the transaction added the media release of RIL.
Get the complete Media Release here.
Jio Platforms, Reliance Retail Limited (“Reliance Retail”) and WhatsApp have also tied up to boost JioMart platform using Whatsapp to support small businesses. JioMart, is being built in partnership with millions of small merchants and kirana shops to empower them to better serve the needs of Indian consumers. The companies will work closely to ensure that consumers are able to access the nearest kiranas who can provide products and services to their homes by transacting seamlessly with JioMart using WhatsApp.
The Reliance Industries Limited Chairman, Mr Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani said that, “When Reliance launched Jio in 2016, we were driven by the dream of INDIA’S DIGITAL SARVODAYA – India’s Inclusive Digital Rise to improve the quality of life of every single Indian and to propel India as the world’s leading Digital Society. All of us at Reliance are therefore humbled by the opportunity to welcome Facebook as our long-term partner in continuing to grow and transform the digital ecosystem of India for the benefit of all Indians. The synergy between Jio and Facebook will help realise Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s ‘Digital India’ Mission with its two ambitious goals – ‘Ease of Living’ and ‘Ease of Doing Business’ – for every single category of Indian people without exception. In the post-Corona era, I am confident of India’s economic recovery and resurgence in the shortest period of time. The partnership will surely make an important contribution to this transformation.”
Watch Reliance Industries CMD Mr. Mukesh Ambani’s Statement Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg also posted from his Facebook account that “There's a lot going on in the world right now, but I wanted to share an update on our work in India. Facebook is teaming up with Jio Platforms -- we're making a financial investment, and more than that, we're committing to work together on some major projects that will open up commerce opportunities for people across India.” Image Source : Facebook
He also said that India is home to the largest communities on Facebook and WhatsApp, and a lot of talented entrepreneurs and said that Jio have played a big part in digital transformation of India. He added that small businesses are the core of every economy and they need our support. India has more than 60 million small businesses and millions of people rely on them for jobs and will need digital tools to boost their business.
“I want to thank Mukesh Ambani and the entire Jio team for their partnership. We're looking forward to getting started” Mr. Zuckerberg added.