Continuing with its record fund raising spree, Jio Platforms has now announced a nearly $600Mn fund raise from global venture capital firm TPG. In return, TPG gets 0.93% of Jio Platforms. For those unaware, TPG has over $79Bn in assets under management, and is a prominent investor in the likes of Airbnb, Uber and Spotify.
TPG is making the investment from its TPG Capital Asia, TPG Growth, and TPG Tech Adjacencies (TTAD) funds. The transaction is subject to customary conditions precedent.
The deal, in a pattern that has now become synonymous with Jio, has come in just days after twin investments from top Abu Dhabi sovereign funds. Mubadala and ADIA invested $1.2Bn and $750 Mn respectively, in deals that were separated by less than 24 hours. The TPG deal comes less than a week after those two sovereign wealth fund deals.
With TPG’s fundraise, Reliance-owned Jio Platforms’ total fundraising has crossed a staggering ₹1 Lakh crore (~$13.5Bn). In totality, Jio Platforms owner Reliance Industries has now sold 21.99 percent stake in Jio and raised Rs 102,432.15 crore. The TPG deal values Jio Platforms at the same, $65Bn enterprise valuation.
TPG settling for a paltry 0.93% stake, when it is otherwise known to gain sizeable chunks in investee companies, goes on to show the tremendous potential in India’s digital future and more so in Jio Platforms’ business model. Jio Platforms’ current list of global investors include Facebook, Silver Lake, Vista Equity Partners, General Atlantic, KKR, Mubadala, ADIA, and now TPG. The fund-raising spree has gone unbroken since April 22nd this year, when the first Facebook investment was announced.
Global investors’ pull towards Jio Platforms has risen due to several factors. For one, the telecom arm ‘Jio’ has built a massive 388 million-strong consumer base, in less than 3 years. In that same time frame, the telecom also became world’s largest in terms of mobile data volumes. Also during that same time frame, India came down from having one of the most expensive mobile data plans to one of the cheapest. And if you are still wondering, all of those milestones happened in record time and at record pace.
While the telecom arm looks well established and stable, Asia’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, is now looking to use that firepower to revolutionize India’s digital landscape. He had already quietly started laying down bricks for the revolution, which included multiple new businesses under the Jio brand. These include data centers, artificial intelligence units, B2B partnerships such as Microsoft among others.
The biggest expansion of the telecom arm happened when the company quietly started testing ‘JioMart’, an ecommerce store for home essentials. That little experiment in Mumbai, recently became a 220 city phenomena, surpassing Amazon and Walmart-backed Flipkart in a day, to become India’s largest ecommerce network in terms of distribution channels. Ambani’s aim is to get India’s local general stores (called ‘Kirana’ shops) on the ecommerce map, since almost all of India still prefers to shop from these local mom and pop shops.