Reliance-backed Jio Platforms, the $65Bn valued telecom-to-digital behemoth owned by Mukesh Ambani, is closing the day off with yet another investment announcement. After having announced a $1.2Bn investment from Mubadala today morning, the company is closing the day off with an additional $600Mn, coming in from existing investor Silver Lake. This would now bring the total external capital raised by Jio Platforms to a staggering $12.2 billion, all of it raised largely within a 30 days timeframe.
Silver Lake had only recently invested nearly $750 million in the telecom company, buying about 1.15% equity stake. With the new investment, Silver Lake now owns close to 2.08% of Jio Platforms. Thus, so far, the equity firm has poured ₹10,202.55 crore (~$1.35Bn) in Jio.
“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,” the announcement from Reliance said.
In the deal, Morgan Stanley acted as financial advisor to Reliance Industries and AZB & Partners and Davis Polk & Wardwell acted as legal counsels. Silver Lake came prepared as well, with Latham & Watkins LLP, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP acting as its legal counsels.
Mukesh Ambani, Asia’s richest man and Chairman, Managing Director of Reliance Industries Ltd, said, “Silver Lake and its co-investors are valued partners as we continue to grow and transform the Indian digital ecosystem for the benefit of all Indians. We are pleased to have their confidence and support, as well as the benefit of their leadership in global technology investing and their valued network of relationships, as we drive the Indian Digital Society’s transformation. I would like to emphasise that Silver Lake’s additional investment in Jio Platforms, within a span of five weeks during the COVID-19 pandemic, is a strong endorsement of the intrinsic resilience of the Indian economy, which will surely grow bigger with comprehensive digital enablement.”
Commenting on the investment, Egon Durban, Silver Lake Co-CEO and Managing Partner, said, “We are excited to increase our exposure and bring more of our co-investors into this opportunity, further supporting Jio Platforms in its mission to bring the power of high-quality and affordable digital services to a mass consumer and small businesses population. The investment momentum behind Jio validates a compelling business model and underscores our admiration for Mukesh Ambani, his team and their courageous vision in creating and building one of the world’s most remarkable technology companies.”
Jio has been on a fundraising spree for the past six weeks, amassing more money than any other privately held company in India’s corporate history. On top of that, all of that has come in at record pace.
Facebook kicked things off through a $5.7 billion investment for a 9.99% stake. Then came some of the biggest PE/VC names such as Vista Equity, Silver Lake, General Atlantic and KKR. And then today morning, came the announcement of Abu Dhabi’s sovereign fund Mubadala investing $1.2 billion in the platform
Jio’s massive investments have also brought into highlight its other battered competitors in the Indian telecom space. Tech behemoths from the US seem to have suddenly found India’s telecom market attractive, with the likes of Amazon and Google reportedly planning to invest in Airtel and Vodafone Idea respectively.