Reliance Industries Limited, Jio Platforms Limited and Facebook today announced the signing of binding agreements for aninvestment of 43,574 crore by Facebook into Jio Platforms.
This investment by Facebook values Jio Platforms at 4.62 lakh crore pre-money enterprise value ($65.95 billion). Facebook’s investment will translate into a 9.99% equity stake in Jio Platforms on a fully diluted basis.
Facebook said the deal would bring together JioMart, an ecommerce venture of Mukesh Ambani and its WhatsApp platform to enable people to connect with businesses.
Jio Platforms, a wholly owned unit of Reliance Industries, brings together Jio’s digital apps, ecosystems and the wireless platform offered by telecommunications carrier, Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd., under one umbrella, according to the Mumbai-based company.
Concurrent with the investment, Jio Platforms, Reliance Retail Limited and WhatsApp have also entered into a commercial partnership agreement to further accelerate Reliance Retail’s New Commerce business on the JioMart platform using WhatsApp and to support small businesses on WhatsApp. The companies will work to ensure that consumers are able to access the nearest kiranas who can provide products and services to their homes by transacting seamlessly with JioMart using WhatsApp.
The partnership with Jio would allow Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg to step up his expansion in a country that is rapidly embracing online payment and e-commerce as more people get smartphones.
Zuckerberg ses potential in India, which unlike China is an open market with an exploding smartphone population.
Zuckerberg has long aimed to roll out a digital currency as well as tools that let users make payments and buy and sell products over the social network’s messaging services in India.