The California-based renowned social media platform, Facebook has invested around $5.7 billion for a 9.99% stake in India’s Reliance Jio Platform which is its second largest investment to date. This deal valued Jio at a pre-money valuation of $65.95 billion and made Facebook the largest minority shareholder in the Indian telecom network.
Jio is one of the biggest telecom operators in the country with more than 370 million subscribers, and a three-and-a-half-year-old subsidiary of Reliance Industries, the nation’s most valued firm.
For Facebook, the new investment could also further dominance in India by expanding the reach of consumer-facing services like WhatsApp and expanding its lead over ByteDance’s TikTok, which has amassed more than 250 million Indian users in two years.
Facebook noted that with this investment it will focus on collaborating with Jio to create new ways for people and businesses to operate more effectively in the growing digital economy. According to David Fischer, the Chief Revenue Officer at Facebook, and Ajit Mohan, the VP and Managing Director of Facebook India; one of the possible collaborations could be an e-commerce business, which would be named as JioMart. This e-commerce business will be a joint venture of Jio and Reliance Retail with WhatsApp, a most popular Smartphone app that counts India as its biggest market with over 400 million users.
Mark Zuckerberg, the Co-founder and Chief Executive of Facebook states, “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.”
Mukesh Ambani, the Indian billionaire, and the Chairman, Managing Director, and largest shareholder of Reliance Industries states in a video message, “At the core of our partnership is the commitment that Mark Zuckerberg and I share for the all-around digital transformation of India and for serving all Indians. Together, our two companies will accelerate India’s digital economy to empower you, enable you, and to enrich you.”
He includes, “The synergy between Jio and Facebook will help realize 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.”
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