The investment values Jio Platforms among the top 5 listed companies in India by market capitalisation. Reliance had launched Jio three and a half years ago. As part of the agreement, Jio Platforms, Reliance Retail, and WhatsApp have entered into a commercial agreement. Facebook-owned platforms will play a big role in further accelerating Reliance Retail’s New Commerce business on JioMart platform.
Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries said, “All of us at Reliance are 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.”
The deal will benefit the kirana stores around the country. These stores will now be empowered with digital technology. Facebook-owned WhatsApp has 400 million users in India. The company has recently got the digital payment service approved for WhatsApp. The company will compete with Google Pay and Paytm in the payments market in the country.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, “India is home to the largest communities on Facebook, WhatsApp and a lot of talented entrepreneurs. The country is in the middle of a major digital transformation and organisations like Jio have played a big part in getting hundreds of millions of Indians, small businesses online.”
The investment makes Facebook the largest minority shareholder in Jio. The investment will help Reliance Industries with much-needed funds to focus on innovation. The debt pile of the company has swelled to more than $40 billion. The company aims to become the zero net debt company by March 2021.