Categories: Investments

Vista Equity Injects $1.5B Into India’s Jio Platforms

Jio Platforms Ltd., India's largest mobile operator, announced it is raising 113.67 billion rupees ($1.5 billion) from Vista Equity Partners, the U.S. private equity firm.

The deal is the latest in a series of investments by the Mumbai-based firm to eliminate its debt, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Last month, PYMNTS reported that Facebook would invest $5.7 billion for a 10 percent stake in Jio Platforms, the digital technology arm of Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani's conglomerate Reliance Industries.

“This investment underscores our commitment to India and our excitement for the dramatic transformation that Jio has spurred in the country,” David Fischer, chief revenue officer, and Ajit Mohan, vice president and managing director for India, wrote in a Facebook blog post.

The news service reported that Silver Lake, another American private-equity firm, said on Sunday (May 3) that it is investing $750 million into Jio.

“We believe in the potential of the digital society that Jio is building for India,” Vista Equity Chief Executive Robert Smith said in a statement. The deal will give the Texas firm a 2.3 percent stake in Jio.

The WSJ said Reliance has spent more than $30 billion building its upstart mobile operator, Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd., a division of Jio Platforms. Reliance has said it is aiming to be net debt-free by next year.

Vista “shares with us the same vision of continuing to grow and transform the Indian digital ecosystem,” Ambani said in a statement.

Jio has nearly 400 million subscribers with inexpensive mobile data plans, the news service reported. It is now moving into eCommerce as many in the country of 1.3 billion start to do business online for the first time.

“Facebook is looking beyond advertising now,” Satish Meena, an eCommerce analyst at Forrester in New Delhi, told the WSJ. “They are entering retail, but they need Reliance’s push.”

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The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.