Google infuses Rs 4.5 billion in Reliance Jio Platforms

New Delhi: Technology giant Google has joined the bandwagon of marquee investors betting on Reliance Industries’ (RIL) Jio Platforms as it comes in with an investment of Rs 33,737 crore.

Addressing the Annual General Meeting of RIL, Chairman Mukesh Ambani on Wednesday said that with the investment, Google would pick up 7.73 per cent in Jio Platforms.

Announcing the investment, the RIL chief said: “As we end our current cycle of capital raising, we are delighted to welcome another strategic partner into Jio.

“We welcome Google onboard and are excited about our partnership for what it can deliver to Indians, from universalizing 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,” he said.

A regulatory filing by RIL said that this investment by Google values Jio Platforms at an equity value of Rs 4.36 lakh crore. With this, the total investment from financial and strategic investors into Jio Platforms stands at Rs 1,52,056 crore.

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. 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.”

The transaction is subject to regulatory and other applicable customary approvals.

A Google India blog said that the proposed investment into Jio — $4.5 billion – is the first investment from the $10 billion Google For India Digitization Fund announced earlier this week, which aims to accelerate India’s digital economy over the next five to seven years through a mix of equity investments, partnerships, and operational, infrastructure and ecosystem investments.

Further, to create an affordable yet powerful smartphone ecosystem for the masses in the country, Reliance Jio Platforms and Google on Wednesday announced to launch an entry-level Android smartphone soon.

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

“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,” said Pichai.

Walmart-led investors pump in $1.2 billion in Flipkart

Bengaluru: A Walmart-led investor group on Tuesday pumped in an additional $1.2 billion into the ecommerce platform Flipkart Group to support its marketplace in the wake of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

With the new investment, Flipkart group is now valued at $24.9 billion. The $1.2 billion will be funded in two tranches over the remainder of the fiscal year.

“We’re grateful for the strong backing of our shareholders as we continue to build our platform and serve the growing needs of Indian consumers during these challenging times,” Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy said in a statement.

Founded in 2007, the Flipkart Group includes Flipkart, digital payments platform PhonePe, fashion specialty site Myntra and eKart.

In 2018, Walmart invested $16 billion for a majority stake in the group.

“Since Walmart’s initial investment in Flipkart, we have greatly expanded our offer through technology, partnerships and new services. We will continue innovating to bring the next 200 million Indian shoppers online,” Krishnamurthy said in a statement.

With a registered customer base of over 200 million, Flipkart recently surpassed 1.5 billion visits per month and reported 45 per cent growth in monthly active customers and 30 per cent growth in transactions per customer for FY20.

Image courtesy of File Photo

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