Jio's hot streak continues: Silver Lake comes back to invest $600 million more

This has to be some kind of record. It is pandemic time. There is lockdown everywhere. Economy in most countries is in a tailspin. And in this situation, Reliance Industries digital subsidiary Jio Platforms has raised $12.2 billion in just under two months.

On a day when Abu Dhabi-based sovereign firm Mubadala committed itself to invest $1.2 billion in Jio Platforms, it emerged that Silver Lake and its co-investors will invest an additional $600 million (Rs 4,546.80 crore) in Jio Platforms, in addition to the nearly $750 million  (Rs 5,655.75 crore) it had put in on May 4, 2020. 

Silver Lake’s investment values Jio Platforms at an equity value of Rs 4.91 lakh crore and an enterprise value of Rs 5.16 lakh crore, and will translate into a 2.08% equity stake in Jio Platforms on a fully diluted basis. 

Silver Lake is the global leader in large-scale technology investing. Its mission is to build and grow great companies by partnering with world-class management teams. Its investments have included Airbnb, Alibaba, Alphabet’s Verily and Waymo units, Dell Technologies, Twitter and numerous other global technology leaders.

Investments in Jio Platforms

With this investment, Jio Platforms has raised $12.2 billion (Rs 92,202.15 crore) from leading technology investors in less than six weeks including Facebook, Silver Lake (previous investment), Vista, General Atlantic and KKR, Mubadala and now Silver Lake again, in less than six weeks. The market belief is that Reliance has targeted raising Rs 85,000-Rs 90,000 crore from stake sales in Jio Platforms.

Jio Platforms, with more than 388 million subscribers, has made significant investments across its digital ecosystem, powered by leading technologies spanning broadband connectivity, smart devices, cloud and edge computing, big data analytics, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, augmented and mixed reality and blockchain.

Vote of confidence on Jio

Commenting on the aggregate investment brought by Silver Lake, Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, Reliance Industries Ltd, said, “Silver Lake and its co-investors are valued partners as we continue to grow and transform the Indian digital ecosystem for the benefit of all Indians. We are pleased to have their confidence and support, as well as the benefit of their leadership in global technology investing and their valued network of relationships, as we drive the Indian Digital Society’s transformation.” 

He added: “I would like to emphasise that Silver Lake’s additional investment in Jio Platforms, within a span of five weeks during the Covid-19 pandemic, is a strong endorsement of the intrinsic resilience of the Indian economy, which will surely grow bigger with comprehensive digital enablement.”

 Commenting on the investment, Egon Durban, Silver Lake Co-CEO and Managing Partner, said, “We are excited to increase our exposure and bring more of our co-investors into this opportunity, further supporting Jio Platforms in its mission to bring the power of high-quality and affordable digital services to a mass consumer and small businesses population.” 

“The investment momentum behind Jio validates a compelling business model and underscores our admiration for Mukesh Ambani, his team and their courageous vision in creating and building one of the world’s most remarkable technology companies,” he added in a press release.

While Jio is blazing new trails, its Indian competitors Airtel and Vodafone-Idea are struggling, and are said to be in talks with Amazon and Google respectively in a bid to lure in investments.

(You can read everything about Jio Platforms and its various investors in our comprehensive coverage here).

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