Jio Platforms, the blue eyed boy in global fundraising space amid COVID-19 pandemic, is rapidly expanding an already strengthened reach across the Indian digital market. But the kind of scale it wants, needs even more cash — perhaps $16Bn wasn’t enough — and is hence reportedly depending on Google for that. According to Bloomberg, Google is in ‘advanced talks’ to invest $4 billion Reliance-owned Jio Platforms.
Of course you should take this with a heavy grain of salt. For one, neither companies have admitted to anything, and the details can still very much change. Also, its entirely possible that the talks bear no fruits, and the deal is entirely called off. Thats the nature if such deals and such news stories.
So far, Jio has raised a series of investments, including $5.7 billion from U.S. tech giant Facebook, parting away with 9.99% of its equity. Now, another behemoth from the US tech industry might be ready to get a taste of the world’s fastest growing internet market, as Google plans to follow its competitor and form an alliance with Reliance’s Jio Platforms.
The company has raised north of $16 billion in the past 3 months, as a prelude to its conversion to a ‘technology led platform’, instead of a telecom operator. Jio Platforms Ltd. is looking to expand into India’s very own Alibaba, providing just about any service related to technology. This includes online retail, content streaming, digital payments, education and health care, cloud infrastructure, enterprise tech including others.
To make that conversion, Jio will need a lot of tech power, to which end it has forged partnerships with the likes of Intel and Qualcomm, having raised $253 million and $100 million from the chip manufacturers respectively.
Google too is aiming for the Indian market, realising the potential of the vast number of internet users that have emerged in the country over the last few years. In an attempt to strengthen its roots in the region, Google announced a $10 billion investment fund for the country, dubbed the Google For India Digitization Fund. The fund has a clear focus: “Make the Internet helpful for a billion Indians and empower India to become a leading digital economy,” and will do so by in form of equity investments, partnerships and operational infrastructure in ecosystems investments.