After picking up an investment from Facebook, Reliance Jio now seems to be on the radar of every investment firm. This subsidiary of Reliance Industries has sold a 17% stake, bagging investments from the likes of Silver Lake, KKR, and others. Now, the company’s long-standing partner Microsoft is also looking to pitch in more than $2 billion and grab a sizeable piece of the pie.
As per a recent Hindustan Times report, Microsoft is eyeing a $2 billion investment in Jio Platforms for a 2.5% stake. Jio’s valuation currently sits at around $65 billion. This will be the sixth investment in Jio Platforms within a span of close to two months if it goes through. All of them being from American firms.
Sources aware of the development suggest that the discussions are in early stages. The details are yet to be finalized but it will bring Jio Platforms a step closer to its overseas IPO goals. Mukesh Ambani is apparently prepping for a public offering in the US over the next 12 to 24 months.
Microsoft and Reliance Jio already have a partnership in place. The telecom giant data is hosted on Azure, Microsoft’s cloud platform, in India. It also promised to offer free Jio connectivity and Azure, Microsoft 365 services to SMBs (small- and medium-scale businesses) in the country.
Apart from Microsoft, the company is also rumored to be in talks with Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund for a minority stake sale. Jio Platforms will have raised close to $12.5 billion once all of the deals are done and dusted. This will enable the telecom giant, which has close to 400 million subscribers in India, to greatly reduce its debt and move closer to its goal of a net debt-free future.
Reliance Jio, for those unaware, has expanded beyond the telecom business and now offers a slew of other services. This includes Jio Fiber, the recently launched JioMart, AJio online fashion store, Jio Cinema and TV, and well, LYF-branded smartphones as well.