Reliance Jio, a three-and-a-half-year-old affiliate of India’s most valued firm Reliance Industries, may have attracted the attention of an American giant: Facebook.
The social conglomerate is in talks to acquire a 10% stake in the Indian telecom operator, the Financial Times reported Tuesday. The sizing of the batch, the paper said, was in “multi-billion dollars.”
Analysts at Bernstein value Jio at more than $ 60 billion. Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest man who runs Reliance Manufacture, has poured over $25 billion into Reliance Jio over the years.
Reliance Jio, which began its commercial operation in the latter half of 2016, upended the regional telecom sell by offering amount of 4G data and free articulation calls for six months.
The telco kickstarted a price war that insure local area network providers Vodafone and Airtel immediately move to revise their data strategies and portable tariffs. But they struggled to match the furnishes of Jio, which has amassed over 370 million readers to become the top telecom hustler in the country.
Reaching those customers might interest Facebook, which attempted and disappointed to expand its free internet initiative, Free Basics, in India.( The firm has since expanded Express Wi-Fi to India — though its potential and magnitude remains comparatively small .)
Reliance Jio also owns a suite of services that are including music streaming service JioSaavn, on-demand live television service JioTV and pays service JioPay.
Earlier this year, Reliance Industries announced JioMart, a seam endeavour between Reliance Jio and Reliance Retail, the nation’s largest retail bond, to soft-launch an e-commerce business.
In recent parts, Facebook, which is beginning to see competition from ByteDance’s TikTok in India, has started to take interest in neighbourhood startups. Last time, the conglomerate made an investment in social busines Meesho; and last month, it wrote a check to edtech startup Unacademy.
Ajit Mohan, VP and managing director of Facebook India, told TechCrunch in an interrogation last year that the company was open to engaging with startups that are building solutions for the Indian market for more expending possibilities. “Wherever we believe there is opportunity beyond the piece we do today, we are open to exploring further investment transactions, ” he said.
Facebook and Reliance Jio declined to comment.