Google to invest Rs 33,737 crore into Jio platforms; to jointly develop low-cost smartphone

Updated: Jul 15, 2020, 19:58 IST | |

The investment will build on Jio's and Google's existing efforts to expand the benefits of digitization across the length and breadth of India, beyond the current 500+ million Internet users in the country

This picture has been used for representational purposes
This picture has been used for representational purposes

Reliance Industries Limited, Jio Platforms Limited and Google LLC today announced the signing of binding agreements for an investment of Rs 33,737 crore by Google into Jio Platforms. This investment by Google values Jio Platforms at an equity value of Rs 4.36 lakh crore. Google’s investment will translate into a 7.7 per cent equity stake in Jio Platforms on a fully diluted basis. With this, the total investment from financial and strategic investors into Jio Platforms stands at Rs 1,52,056 crore.

The investment will build on Jio’s and Google’s existing efforts to expand the benefits of digitisation across the length and breadth of India, beyond the current 500+ million Internet users in the country. Jio Platforms and Google have also entered into a commercial agreement to jointly develop an entry-level affordable smartphone with optimizations to the Android operating system and the Play Store. Together we are excited to rethink, from the ground up, how millions of users in India can become owners of smartphones.

This effort will unlock new opportunities, further power the vibrant ecosystem of applications and push innovation to drive growth for the new Indian economy.

Mr. Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries, said, "Google has empowered millions of Indians to access helpful information and, like Jio, is a force for change and innovation. We welcome Google onboard and are excited about our partnership for what it can deliver to Indians, from universalising 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."

Mr. Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, said, "Reliance Industries, and Jio Platforms in particular, deserve a good deal of credit for India’s digital transformation. 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. Google is proud to invest Rs 33,737 crore into Jio. 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."

Jio Platforms, a majority-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries, is a next-generation technology platform focused on providing high-quality and affordable digital services across India, with more than 388 million subscribers. Jio Platforms has made significant investments across its digital ecosystem, powered by leading technologies spanning broadband connectivity, smart devices, cloud and edge computing, big data analytics, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, augmented and mixed reality and blockchain. Jio’s vision is to enable a Digital India for 1.3 billion people and businesses across the country, including small merchants, micro-businesses and farmers so that all of them can enjoy the fruits of inclusive growth. Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited, which provides connectivity services to over 388 million subscribers, will continue to be a wholly-owned subsidiary of Jio Platforms.

The transaction is subject to regulatory and other applicable customary approvals. Morgan Stanley acted as financial advisor to Reliance Industries and AZB & Partners and Davis Polk & Wardwell acted as legal counsels.

The law firms Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer US LLP and J. Sagar Associates advised Google on the transaction.

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