California based social media and technology company Facebook has acquired a 9.9 % stake in Jio Platforms, a wholly-owned subsidiary of India-based Reliance Industries, for $5.7 billion, making Facebook its largest minority shareholder.
Jio Platforms is a next-generation technology company building a Digital Community for India by bringing together Jio’s leading digital apps, digital ecosystems and India’s #1 high-speed connectivity platform under one umbrella. Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited, which provides connectivity platform to over 388 million subscribers, will continue to be a wholly-owned subsidiary of Jio Platforms.
Parallel to the investment, Jio Platforms, Reliance Retail, and WhatsApp has 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.
WhatsApp already plays an important role in helping people and businesses connect in India. Reliance Retail’s new commerce platform, JioMart, is being built in partnership with millions of small merchants and Kirana shops to empower them to better serve the needs of Indian consumers.
The companies will work closely to ensure that consumers are able to access the nearest Kirana shops which can provide products and services to their homes by transacting seamlessly with JioMart using WhatsApp.
“When Reliance launched Jio in 2016, we were driven by the dream of INDIA’S DIGITAL SARVODAYA–India’s Inclusive Digital Rise to improve the quality of life of every single Indian and to propel India as the world’s leading Digital Society,” said Mukesh Ambani, Chairman, and Managing Director of Reliance Industries.
“All of us at Reliance are therefore humbled by the opportunity to welcome Facebook as our long-term partner in continuing to grow and transform the digital ecosystem of India for the benefit of all Indians. The synergy between Jio and Facebook will help realize Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s ‘Digital India’ Mission with its two ambitious goals —‘Ease of Living’ and ‘Ease of Doing Business’ –for every single category of Indian people without exception.”
“In the post-Corona era, I am confident of India’s economic recovery and resurgence in the shortest period of time. The partnership will surely make an important contribution to this transformation,” he added.