Just when we thought there is a pause in Reliance Jio Platforms’ breakneck fundraising spree, the company is back in the news. Reliance-owned Jio Platforms has announced an investment from Intel Capital, worth $253M. Intel Capital’s investment will translate into a 0.39% equity stake in Jio Platforms on a fully diluted basis.
The American chipmaker’s investment arm said it is acquiring a 0.39% stake in Jio Platforms, giving the Indian firm a valuation of $65 billion.
Including the rather token Intel investment that has come into Jio Platforms, the Reliance-owned telecom-to-digital giant has now raised a colossal $15.5Bn in external capital. All of this money, coming in right during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic and in a record time of just around 60 days.
So far, companies like General Atlantic, Silver Lake (twice), Vista Equity Partners, KKR, sovereign funds Mubadala and ADIA, TPG and L Catterton have taken part in Jio’s funding rounds. Most notably, Facebook bought a 9.99% stake in the company for Rs $5.7 Billion on April 22, becoming the largest minority stakeholder in Mukesh Ambani’s dream project.
While focus of all investments raised by Jio Platforms till date has been on the digital business of the firm, Intel’s investment comes with a focus on 5G. In a press release issued earlier today, Jio Platforms said, “Intel Capital invests globally in innovative companies with a focus on disruptive technology areas like cloud computing, artificial intelligence and 5G – opportunities where Jio is also innovating and investing for growth.”
Mukesh Ambani, currently Asia’s richest man and Chairman of Jio’s parent Reliance Industries said, “Intel is a true industry leader, working towards creating world-changing technology and innovations. Intel Capital has an outstanding record of being a valuable partner for leading technology companies globally.”
The investment for Intel is much more strategic than being financial. The company has been struggling of sorts due to an aggressive homegrown competitor in AMD. Intel’s chips, though still command a majority of the PC market, have slowly started to fade away in terms of specs when it comes to AMD. More so, one of Intel’s longest clients Apple, is also turning to AMD for its latest upcoming Macbook model. Amid all of this, Jio Platforms could possibly be a much needed diversification for Intel.