Sci-tech

General Atlantic to invest $870m in Jio Platforms

General Atlantic to invest $870m in Jio Platforms”

This investment valued Jio Platforms at an equity value of Rs 4.91 lakh crore and an enterprise value of Rs 5.16 lakh crore. Bloomberg reported last week that Saudi Wealth Fund was also in talks with Ambani for a stake in Jio Platforms.

The new messaging follows RIL " s new positioning now as a technology/consumer company with Jio at the forefront of attracting marquee investors like Facebook. The four deals will help Reliance Industries group pare its debt and become a net debt-free company by 2021, in line with the dream of Mukesh Ambani.

Vista Equity Partners, a US-based private equity firm that runs the world's largest exclusively tech-focused fund, picked up a 2.32 percent stake in Jio Platforms for Rs 11,367 crore, making it the third high-profile investment in the Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) unit in as many weeks and underlining its status as a next-generation software and platform company. The issue amount is Rs 53,125 crore.

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. In 2019, Reliance started the pilot for the JioMart ecommerce venture, forayed into blockchain, mixed reality (AR+VR), IoT and OTT video streaming with the launch of Jio Fiber and partnered with Microsoft Azure to facilitate digitalisation and cloud computing for Indian businesses.

Sunday's announcement further illustrates the growing appeal of Jio Platforms, which has raised $8.85 billion in the past one month by selling about 14.7% of its stake, to foreign investors that are looking for a slice of the fast-growing world's second largest internet market.

"I am thrilled to welcome General Atlantic".

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"We are excited to leverage General Atlantic's proven global expertise and strategic insights across 40 years of technology investing for the benefits of Jio". Jio-Silver Lake deal came less than two weeks after the Facebook deal.

"We share Mukesh's conviction that digital connectivity has the potential to significantly accelerate the Indian economy and drive growth across the country".

Commenting on General Atlantic's investment in the business, Ambani said: "General Atlantic shares our vision of a digital society for India and strongly believes in the transformative power of digitisation in enriching the lives of 1.3bn Indians".

Jio is committed to make a digitally inclusive India that will provide vast opportunities to every Indian citizen especially to highly talented youth.

Sandeep Naik, managing director and head of India & Southeast Asia at General Atlantic, said, "General Atlantic has almost two decades of experience of investing in India, and specifically in founder-led businesses that are based upon principles of enablement, inclusion and progress".

The transaction is subject to regulatory and other customary approvals.



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