Just sometime back, Reliance Industries Chairman and India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani wrote to his company shareholders saying, “Reliance Jio would play a key role in the development of the 5G ecosystem in India”, and elsewhere in the USA, a leading official of Trump government lavished praise on Reliance Jio as being one of the “trusted 5G vendors”.
As if on cue, Qualcomm Ventures, the San Diego-based investment arm of Qualcomm Inc., the wireless technology company, announced it has invested up to $97 million (Rs 730 crore) in Jio Platforms to help “roll out advanced 5G infrastructure and services for Indian customers.”
Qualcomm Ventures’ investment amount will make it acquire a 0.15% equity stake on a fully diluted basis. Jio Platforms has totally sold 25.24% stake and raised around $15.7 billion in around 12 week period.
The biggest investor, of course, has been Facebook, which started this pioneering run in April.
#Qualcomm invests 730 Crore in #JioPlatforms13th Investment in Jio Platform in 12 months .#MukeshAmbani – #Qualcomm will help in our 5G vision .#RelianceJio pic.twitter.com/5eoSsgqhzRJuly 13, 2020
Qulacomm, the 5G pioneer
Qualcomm is the world’s leading wireless technology innovator and the driving force behind the development, launch and expansion of 5G. It has more than $62 billion in cumulative research and development spend and 35 years of innovation and over 140,000 patents and patent applications.
Qualcomm Ventures is a global fund that invests in pioneering companies across the wireless ecosystem in areas like 5G, AI, IoT, automotive, networking and enterprise. In India, Qualcomm Ventures has invested in companies that address key domestic issues from dairy, transportation to defense.
Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries, in a press release said, “Qualcomm has been a valued partner for several years and we have a shared vision of connecting everything by building a robust and secure wireless and digital network and extending the benefits of digital connectivity to everyone in India. As a world leader in wireless technologies, Qualcomm offers deep technology knowhow and insights that will help us deliver on our 5G vision and the digital transformation of India for both people and enterprises.”
Steve Mollenkopf, CEO of Qualcomm Incorporated, said, “With our shared goal of extending the benefits of digital connectivity to everyone and everything, we anticipate Jio Platforms will deliver a new set of services and experiences to Indian consumers. With unmatched speeds and emerging use cases, 5G is expected to transform every industry in the coming years. Jio Platforms has led the digital revolution in India through its extensive digital and technological capabilities. As an enabler and investor with a longstanding presence in India, we look forward to playing a role in Jio’s vision to further revolutionize India’s digital economy.”
Jio, the darling
Jio Platforms has amassed nearly 390 million subscribers to become the top carrier in the world’s second largest internet market in less than four years of its existence.
No wonder it is the darling of world’s leading investors.
So far, 12 global investors have bought 25.24% stake in Jio Platforms, and these investments, along with Rs 53,124 crore raised through a rights issue, have helped Reliance Industries become net debt-free.
Along with Facebook, the other investors in Jio Platforms include Silver Lake (1 and 2), KKR, Vista Equity Partners, General Atlantic, Mubadala, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, TPG, L Catterton, PIF and Intel Capital, the investment arm of US-based semiconductor giant Intel.
And those committed investments have started flowing into Jio Platforms.
You can read about every investment into the Jio Platforms here.