Continuing the investment spree, Google has announced that the company will be investing ₹33,737 crores in Jio Platforms. With the investment, Google will be acquiring a 7.7 percent equity stake in the company.
The investment comes after Jio Platform raised funding from Facebook, Silver Lake, Vista Equity Partners, General Atlantic, KKR, Mubadala, ADIA, TPG and L Catterton, The Public Investment Fund, Intel Capital, and Qualcomm Ventures in the past couple of months.
As a part of the investment announcement, Google also revealed that it is working with Jio on an entry-level affordable smartphone running on a customized version of the Android operating system.
It remains to be seen how this new project of Google any different from its existing Android project for low-powered devices — Android Go. The new Google-Jio project is aimed at more than 500 million Indians who still don’t have access to the internet.
Reliance Jio, in its ambition to become the leading telecom company in the Indian market, has accumulated a lot of debt. As of September 2019, Reliance Jio has a debt of more than ₹3 lakh crore or $40 billion. The new investments will help Reliance with much-needed cash to fulfill its promise to cut net debt to zero by March 2021.