Jio Platforms is becoming the new favorite among technology investors around the world. After seeing investments from Facebook, General Atlantic, KKR, Vista Equity Partners and Silver Lake, there is more interest in the company. Mukesh Ambani, the Chairman of Reliance Industries, has been vocal about taking in more direct equity investment. So far, Jio Platforms has sold 17.12 percent equity stake in the company to foreign investors.
There are already reports doing the rounds that Jio Platforms is seeing interest from other big investors with over a billion dollars to park. In the past few weeks, Jio Platforms has raised Rs 78,562 crore or $10.3 billion. It now has a valuation of Rs 4.91 lakh crore or $73 billion. After KKR bought 2.32 percent stake for Rs 11,367 crore, Jio Platforms’ ambitions seem to be getting green light from other big name investors.
Recent media reports have suggested that Microsoft, Google, Twitter, Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala and Saudi Arabia’s Sovereign Wealth Fund are also interested. According to Reuters, Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala wants to invest $1 billion in Reliance’s Jio Platforms. The report further notes that even Twitter is interested in investing more than $1 billion in Jio Platforms. The Jio Platforms investment would be the largest by Mubadala in an Indian firm.
Microsoft is also said to be looking at acquiring 2.5 percent stake in Jio Platforms for around $2 billion. Mint reports that “there is no guarantee that the investment will go through”. However, Microsoft has strong ties with Reliance through its Azure cloud partnership. If the Redmond-based tech giant goes ahead with this rumored investment then it should not come as a surprise. Microsoft is looking at edge computing as the future and the telecom player will be a valuable partner.
Financial Times reported yesterday that Google was also looking to invest in Jio Platforms. However, it has now drifted towards making investment in Vodafone Idea Limited, the telecom major under severe stress in India. If all these deals materialize then wait to hear some big investment coming in for Bharti Airtel, the company which has held strong despite significant growth seen by the new entrant since 2016. Despite run-up in share price, Airtel is seen as value purchase in the investor market.