Mukesh Ambani is leveraging his existing investor firepower from the over $20Bn that he raised for Reliance Jio, to raise money for his retail business. KKR, one of the largest PE firms globally and a big backer in Jio Platforms, has decided to invest ₹5,550 crore (~$747Mn) in Reliance Retail, at a mammoth pre-money valuation of $57Bn.

KKR’s investment is the second such investment in Reliance Retail. The retail arm of Mukesh Ambani’s multi-billion conglomerate raised nearly $1Bn from another Jio Platforms investor — Silver Lake — two weeks ago. Silver Lake’s investment had also put Reliance Retail at a valuation of $57 billion pre-money. For KKR too, this is the second investment in an Ambani-owned entity, having previously invested nearly $1.5Bn in his digital and telecom giant, Jio Platforms.

“I am pleased to welcome KKR as an investor in Reliance Retail Ventures as we continue our onward march to growing and transforming the Indian Retail ecosystem for the benefit of all Indians. We look forward to working with KKR’s global platform, industry knowledge and operational expertise across our digital services and retail businesses,” said Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries.

Ambani, after ruling the petrochemicals and oils business for a fairly large period of time, has now set out to dominate the digital frontier. And India’s large, $1.3Bn population, with almost 50% of them on smartphones, is more than ideal for Ambani’s digital expansion plans. He has sold a joint mega vision of both Jio Platforms and Reliance Retail to investors, building a digital empire through Jio, that will power his e-retail ambitions.

More to follow…