Now, it has attracted a strong investor with deep pockets: the Saudi Arabia.
The kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), will pay $ 1.5 billion to 2.3% of the capital of Jio platforms, the digital technology arm of Ambani’s sprawling conglomerate, Reliance Industries. The deal, announced Thursday, values of Jio, the platforms of almost $ 68 billion.
This is the tenth major investment in Jio platforms since the month of April, when Facebook bet of $ 5.7 billion, one of its biggest ever deals. That deal offered Facebook crucial to gain a foothold in India, the rapid growth of the internet market and cemented Ambani the position of kingmaker in the region. The social media company has hundreds of millions of users in India and has already invested a lot in the growth of its own business, but was confronted with a series of regulatory obstacles in recent years.
Thanks to the fund-raising blitz, and a recent $ 7 billion sale of shares of Reliance Industries, said on Friday that it is now debt free. The company said its net debt at the end of March was 1.61 trillion rupees ($21 billion).
Ambani, Asia’s richest man, has launched Jio as a telecommunications network by the end of 2016, and has since signed 388 million subscribers. Jio also has an ecosystem of applications, offering those millions of users of mobile phones of all, online grocery and digital payments for video streaming.
Analysts say that the Ambani’s ultimate ambition is to build the next global technology company, that can hold its own against the likes of Google (, )Tencent (, )Amazon ( and )Alibaba (. )
The support of Saudi arabia’s wealth fund, which has investments in several Silicon Valley companies, including Uber ( and )Tesla (, will help Ambani’s ambition. )
“I am pleased to PIF as a valuable partner in Jio platforms and look forward to their continuing support and guidance as we take bold steps to accelerate the India’s digital transformation,” Ambani said in a statement.
Jio has emerged as the primary conduit for cash in India the boom of the internet, with more than 600 million internet users and nearly an equal number to come online for the first time.
“We believe that the potential of the Indian digital economy is very exciting and that Jio platforms which gives us an excellent opportunity to access this growth,” PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan said in a statement.