Facebook Inc has invested $5.7 billion in Jio Platforms Ltd., a digital technology arm of Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries, one of India’s biggest multinational companies. This investment will give Facebook a 10% stake in Jio Platforms, making it the biggest minority shareholder. The investment will help Reliance Industries to cut the piled up debts that it had taken to secure the top position of its Jio Infocomm to make it a major provider of internet and cellular services of India.
On this occasion, Facebook said, the investment is the proof of its commitment to India, as more than 388 million people have used Jio Internet over the past 4 years, as India is Facebook’s major market currently. Facebook has a huge WhatsApp userbase of over 400 million alone from India, a substantially massive amount of users than any other country in the world.
In a blog post, Facebook VP Ajit Mohan and chief revenue officer David Fischer wrote that Facebook’s one of the goals behind this investment is to open up the opportunities for small businesses, as most of the business operates over Whatsapp. The collaboration with Jio will be making new ways for people and businesses to operate more productively in the growing digital economy. For instance, bringing JioMart with the power of WhatsApp will enable people to make a business network, and it will also increase the purchasing seamless via a mobile network.
Facebook team is excited about promoting the investment in India’s vibrant digital economy. We are majorly focusing on fueling India’s economic growth and the development of its people by opening new doors of technology. We will look forward to work with the giant, and to collaborate in the future to advance this vision, Ajit and David wrote further.
Announcing the deal, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook page that India is half the way of the major digital transformation, and the giants like Jio have played a key role in bringing hundreds of millions of Indian people and their small businesses online. The lockdown, due to the pandemic, has affected various startups and enterprises. However, to communicate and grow the business amid the lockdown, the entrepreneurs can rely on digital tools.