It seems as if the exact same storyline keeps repeating itself time and again. Yet another Jio Platforms investor is investing in yet another Reliance company. General Atlantic, which invested nearly $870Mn in Jio Platforms, is now announcing another $447Mn in investment, into Reliance Retail. The investment will provide the provide equity firm with 0.84% stake in Reliance Retail on a fully diluted basis. Reliance Retail has been valued at nearly $57Bn pre-money in this round.
This General Atlantic investment is the third such investment in Reliance Retail. The retail arm of Mukesh Ambani’s multi-billion conglomerate raised nearly $1Bn from two of the existing Jio Platforms investors — Silver Lake and KKR, in the past three weeks or so. Both the Silver Lake and KKR investments had also put Reliance Retail at a valuation of $57 billion pre-money.
Reliance Retail is the gigantic retail arm — the largest of its kind in India — of the already mammoth-ic Reliance Industries. The venture, which is profitable, witnesses close to 640 million footfalls across its ~12,000 stores nationwide on an annual basis. This fresh fundraising activity, that many are terming Reliance Retail 2.0, is aimed at evolving Reliance Retail into a more technology-driven venture.
Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries, said, “I am pleased to extend our relationship with General Atlantic as we work towards empowering both merchants and consumers alike, and ultimately transforming Indian Retail. Like Reliance Retail, General Atlantic believes in the fundamental ability of digital enablement to drive progress, growth, and inclusion across India and the world.”
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.