Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani on Wednesday (July 15) said that Google will invest ₹33,737 crore for a 7.7 per cent stake in Jio Platforms, which is the digital services subsidiary of the Reliance Industries Limited.
This comes two days after Google announced an investment of ₹75,000 crore in India over the next five-seven years through ‘Google for India Digitisation Fund’. Recently, Qualcomm Ventures had also picked up 0.15 per cent stake in Jio Platforms for ₹730 crore.
Reliance is now truly a zero Net Debt company, well ahead of my goal of March 2021. It has an extremely strong Balance Sheet that will support growth plans for its three Hyper-Growth Engines — Jio, Retail and O2C: Mukesh Ambani at #RILAGM #NayeIndiaKaNayaJosh #Jio #Reliance
— Reliance Jio (@reliancejio) July 15, 2020
“We are delighted to welcome Google as a strategic investor in Jio Platforms. We have signed a binding partnership and an investment agreement under which Google will invest ₹33,737 crores for a 7.7 per cent stake in Jio Platforms,” Ambani said at the company’s 43rd annual general meeting, held virtually for the first time this year.
This takes the cumulative fund raising by Reliance in less than three months to ₹2,12,809 crore, he said. This includes investments by Facebook and other investors in Jio Platforms and ₹53,124 crore Rights Issue, and investment by BP in fuel retailing venture.
“It’s in excess of our net debt of ₹1,61,035 crore at the end of FY19-20,” he said. “Reliance is now truly a zero net debt company, well ahead of my goal of March 2021. It has an extremely strong Balance Sheet that will support growth plans for its three Hyper-Growth Engines — Jio, Retail and O2C.”
Reliance has concluded its JV with BP in the existing fuel retailing business. Ambani said, “BP has invested ₹7,629 crore for their 49 per cent stake in the JV.”
Ambani, the richest Indian, also announced that Jio is developing a homegrown 5G telecom solution. “Jio has designed and developed a complete 5G solution from scratch. It will be ready for trials as soon as 5G spectrum is available and can be ready for field deployment next year,” Ambani said at Wednesday’s annual general meeting.
Jio’s global-scale 4G and fibre network is powered by several core software technologies and components. “It is this capability and know-how that positions Jio on the cutting edge of another exciting frontier – 5G,” he said.
Jio Platforms, with over 20 startup partners, has built world-class capabilities in technologies such as 4G, 5G, Cloud computing, Devices and OS, Big Data, AI, AR/VR, Blockchain, Natural Language Understanding and Computer Vision, he said.
“Using these technologies, we can create compelling solutions across multiple industry verticals like media, financial services, new commerce, education, healthcare, agriculture, smart cities, smart manufacturing and smart mobility,” he said.
In the next three years, Jio will connect half a billion mobile customers, a billion smart sensors and 50 million home and business establishments, Ambani said.
“We have fully kick-started five accelerators of growth of digital connectivity: Mobile broadband, JioFiber, Jio’s enterprise broadband, broadband for SMEs, and Jio’s Narrowband Internet-of-Things (NBIoT),” he noted.
(With inputs from agencies)