Investments

UAE Fund Pumps $1.2B Into Jio Platforms, India's Telecom Giant

Jio app on smartphone

Mubadala Investment Co., an investment arm of the government of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is investing $1.2 billion in Jio Platforms, the Indian telecommunications firm, CNBC reported.

UEA’s $1.2 billion investment stake in Jio Platforms is close to 1.9 percent of the company, which is valued at $65 billion.

The move by Mubadala comes after five other investors have backed Jio Platforms in recent weeks.

Jio, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries of India, has gathered some $11 billion in investments inclusive of the UAE backing. Facebook took a 10 percent stake for $5.7 billion, and private equity groups KKR, Vista Equity Partners, Silver Lake and General Atlantic have also invested in Jio. The Mubadala investment brings the total amount of capital invested in Jio Platforms to roughly $11 billion.

Since its launch four years ago, Jio Platforms has gained more than 388 million 4G subscribers on its Jio Infocomm mobile network, the report said. Jio is considered India’s biggest telecom and offers eCommerce and broadband service.

“Jio offers mobile Internet for nearly free and tries to make money by up-selling subscriptions to their own versions of Spotify and Netflix,” Vishal Gulati, a venture capital investor at London-based Draper Esprit, told the network.

Owned by Mukesh Ambani, who is known as India’s richest man, Jio Platforms is a niche business of his Reliance Industries businesses, which is focused on oil and petrochemicals, CNBC reported.

Ambani is seeking cash for his other businesses by selling off stakes in Jio Platforms. The network reported Ambani’s goal is to sell 20 percent of the company to raise money for Reliance Industries, which reportedly has a debt of $20 billion.

India, with a population of 1.35 billion, is working to match more technologically advanced nations. Investors don’t want to miss out India’s opportunities India presents, the report said.

Last week, as PYMNTS reported, news surfaced that Google is exploring the prospect of buying about 5 percent of Joi competitor Vodafone Idea, a partnership between the U.K. telecom company and India’s Aditya Birla Group. And Amazon is reportedly considering a stake in Bharti Airtel Limited, a global telecommunications services company based in New Delhi, India. It operates in 18 countries across South Asia and Africa.

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