Google joins Jio race with Rs 33,700 crore investment

Search engine giant to invest in Jio Platforms for a 7.7 per cent stake

ambani-agm RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani at the 43rd AGM

Two days after Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced $10 billion worth India Digitisation Fund, Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani has confirmed that the search engine giant will be investing Rs 33,737 crore in Jio Platforms for a 7.7 per cent stake. "We are delighted to welcome Google as a strategic investor in Jio Platforms. We have signed a binding partnership and an investment agreement under which Google will invest Rs 33,737 crore in Jio Platforms," said Ambani at the 43rd annual general meeting on Wednesday.

Ambani said the target of capital raise for Jio Platforms is complete with onboarding of Google. This investment by Google values Jio Platforms at an equity value of Rs 4.36 lakh crore. With this, RIL has raised a total of Rs 1.52 lakh crore since April from investors including Facebook, KKR, Qualcomm, Silver Lakes and General Atlantic Singapore. 

"Reliance Industries, and Jio Platforms in particular, deserve a good deal of credit for India’s digital transformation. The pace and scale of digital transformation in India is hugely inspiring for us and reinforces our view that building products for India first helps us build better products for users everywhere," said Pichai in a statement.

The race for a pie of India's fastest growing telecom company commenced with Facebook's $5.7 billion investment in Jio Platforms for 9.9 per cent stake in April this year. 

On Tuesday, a day after Pichai announced the multi-billion dollar fund for India, speculations were rife that Google was planning to invest in Jio. 

Interestingly, soon after Facebook's investment in Jio, varios media reports had said that Google was mulling to invest in Jio's rival Vodafone Idea. However, both Google and Vodafone Idea had denied the reports then.