INTRO: Just when you think Jio Platforms is done racking up fresh investments, you hear that another investor has joined the ranks of Facebook, Silver Lake, and many others. The latest addition to the collective is American chipmaker Qualcomm, who has poured Rs. 730 crore (around $97 million) into Jio Platforms. That’s a massive investment, per se, but gets Qualcomm a measly 0.15 percent stake in the company.
This investment makes Qualcomm Ventures the 13th investor in India’s largest telecom and technology giant. Jio Platforms has now raised Rs 118,318.45 crore (over $15.7 billion) in total – at an equity value of Rs. 4.91 trillion (around $65 billion) and an enterprise value of Rs. 5.16 trillion (around $68 billion), as per reports.
Qualcomm Ventures has made the investment on a ‘fully-diluted basis’ and will help Jio Platforms roll out advanced 5G infrastructure and services in India. “Qualcomm offers deep technology know-how and insights that will help us deliver on our 5G vision and the digital transformation of India for both people and enterprises,” RIL chairman and MD Mukesh Ambani said in an official statement.
Prior to Qualcomm, we’ve already seen a hoard of foreign investors line up to grab a piece of Jio Platforms. This includes social media giant Facebook, who kicked off the domino effect by picking up a 10% market share. The company has now sold a 25.24 percent stake to high-profile investors, like TPG, General Atlantic, Intel, Vista, and Saudi’s ADIA among others over the past 12 weeks.
These investments have played a major role in making Reliance Industries net-debt free ahead of Ambani’s promised goal of 2021. It’s truly astonishing as the company achieved this milestone during the COVID-19 lockdown. Jio is the largest telecom operator in India with close to 400 million subscribers. The company is now looking to get the most out of its growth and valuation by going public overseas. The rumors of Reliance Jio exploring an IPO on the sought-after US exchange – Nasdaq – have been making rounds of the Internet over the past few weeks.