Reliance Jio finds another two investors for Indian digital mission

Mukesh Ambani is proving to be one of the most popular figures in the telco world as two more investors have bought into the Reliance Jio mission to digitise India.

Announced at the end of last week, global alternative asset firm TPG and consumer focused private equity firm L Catterton have both bought stakes in Jio Platforms, the Reliance Industries unit featuring the disruptive telco and other digital ventures.

“Jio is a disruptive industry leader that is empowering small businesses and consumers across India by providing them with critical, high-quality digital services,” said Jim Coulter, Co-CEO of TPG. “The company is bringing unmatched potential and execution capabilities to the market, setting the tone for all technology companies to come.”

“We are strong supporters of fostering growth through product development, enhanced digital capabilities and strategic alliances,” said Michael Chu, Global Co-CEO of L Catterton. “We look forward to partnering with Jio, which is uniquely positioned to execute on its vision and mission to transform the country and build a digital society for 1.3 billion Indians through its unmatched digital and technological capabilities.”

L Catterton has bought a 0.39% equity stake in Jio Platforms for approximately $250 million, while TPG has spent roughly $600 million for 0.93%.

Private investment in Jio Platforms
Investor Stake Value
L Catterton 0.39% $250 million
TPG 0.93% $600 million
ADIA 1.16% $750 million
Mubadala 1.85% $1.2 billion
General Atlantic 1.34% $860 million
Vista Equity Partner 2.32% $1.5 billion
Silver Lake 1.15% $750 million
Facebook 9.9% $5.7 billion
Total 19.08% $11.61 billion

While there is still money to be made by selling 4G contracts to Indian consumers, the bigger picture is what is enabled by connectivity. Reliance Jio and other digital ventures in the Jio Platforms business are attempting to capture the value which connectivity acts as the catalyst for, such as video streaming, social media or digital payments. This wider economic and societal shift is much more lucrative, just ask the internet giants of Silicon Valley.

With a population of 1.353 billion, which is becoming increasingly wealthy, there is a monstrously attractive opportunity to monetise the digital economy for those who get in early enough. Each of these investors will have an interest in making money as Jio Platforms prospers, but such an investment is also a good way to carve an entry point for other investments.

For example, as part of the Facebook investment, a partnership will be formed between WhatsApp and Jio Platforms to create digital payment platforms for SME businesses. Each of the investors have other investments who would benefit from exposure in the India market and partnering with one of the most influential and exciting businesses is a good starting point.

The big question which now remains is how much of Jio Platforms Mukesh Ambani, the MD of parent company Reliance Industries, is willing to sell? 49.99% is the absolute limit to maintain absolute control of the business, but each sale of a stake adds another cook’s opinion into the kitchen. It is a delicate balancing act, but it is tempting to cash in on divestments while Jio is a hot ticket.

Which market is the most exciting?

  • India (32%, 19 Votes)
  • Indonesia (20%, 12 Votes)
  • US (19%, 11 Votes)
  • Brazil (17%, 10 Votes)
  • China (10%, 6 Votes)
  • Other (2%, 1 Votes)
  • South Korea (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Spain (0%, 0 Votes)
  • UK (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Japan (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 59

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