The World’s largest Social Networking company Facebook acquires stake in Reliance Jio platforms. The Facebook Jio deal is worth ₹43,574 crores and is the largest FDI in India’s tech sector yet. Facebook acquired a 9.99% stake in the Reliance Jio Platforms to become the largest minority shareholder in Jio.
Reliance Jio is the biggest telecom operator in the country with a subscriber base of 388 million. The news comes right after the government approved WhatsApp’s digital payment services. India is one of the biggest markets for WhatsApp with almost 80% smartphone which turns out to be 400 million users.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said that “we will be working on some major projects together that will open up commerce opportunities for people across India”. He added, “the country is in the middle of a major digital transformation and organizations like Jio have played a big part in getting hundreds of millions of Indian people and small businesses online”.
Facebook Jio Deal: What does it mean to Reliance Jio?
Reliance Industries owner Mr. Mukesh Ambani addressed the media and said “My fellow Indians, I’m here to share some exciting news with you. All of us at Reliance Jio are delighted to welcome Facebook Inc. as our partner. At the core of this partnership is a commitment Mark Zuckerberg and I share for the digital transformation of India and for serving all Indians. In the post-Corona era, I am confident of India’s economic recovery and resurgence in the shortest period of time. The partnership will surely make an important contribution to this transformation.”
The partnership will focus on bringing a digital solution for 60 million small and medium businesses. The company will also collaborate to bring JioMart, an e-commerce platform which is a joint venture of Jio and Reliance Retail.
“In the very near future, JioMart Jio’s digital new commerce platform, and Whatsapp will empower nearly 3 crores small Indian Kirana shops to digitally transact with every customer in their neighborhood. This means all of you can order and get faster delivery of day-to-day items, from nearby local shops,” Ambani said.
The Facebook Jio Deal which valued a total of ₹4.62 lakh crores pre-money enterprise value to Reliance will help to come up to its promise of becoming a debt-free company by March 2021.
This is not the first time that Facebook has invested in India. Facebook’s previous efforts to invest in India were not very successful. The company’s Free internet initiative Free Basics was a failure. However, Facebook is working on Express WiFi service in India. Last year, the company also invested in Meesho which is a social commerce platform and Unacademy which is an ed-tech startup.
Reliance Jio is also expanding its broadband services across India under Jio GigaFiber. It will be interesting to see how this partnership will benefit Indian consumers.
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