General Atlantic acquires 1.3% stake in Jio Platforms

General Atlantic, the US investment firm that helped fund Airbnb and Uber Technologies, will invest about 66 billion rupees (Dh3.1bn) in Reliance Industries’ Jio Platforms.

The deal to acquire a 1.3 per cent stake values Jio Platforms at an enterprise value of 5.16 trillion rupees, the company said. The transaction takes the total investment raised by Jio to 671.9bn rupees after it sold stakes to Facebook, Silver Lake and Vista Equity Partners.

Investors are betting on Jio’s access to India’s huge consumer market, and its potential to shake up traditional industries in the country - from retail to education and payments - with its technology. India is the only major open Internet market where foreign technology giants such as, Walmart and Google’s parent Alphabet can compete for market share.

“General Atlantic’s endorsement and partnership energises Jio’s young team to set, and achieve, even more ambitious goals,” said Akash Ambani, director of Reliance Jio, and chairman Mukesh Ambani’s son. “Jio is committed to make a digitally inclusive India that will provide immense opportunities to every Indian citizen especially to our highly talented youth.”

Jio Platforms, a wholly owned unit of Reliance Industries, brings together Jio’s digital apps, ecosystems and the wireless platform offered by telecommunications carrier, Reliance Jio Infocomm, under one umbrella, according to the Mumbai-based company.

Saudi Arabia’s $320bn sovereign wealth fund is also considering purchasing a minority stake in Jio, Bloomberg News reported on May 9.

Updated: May 17, 2020 09:13 PM