RIL digital biz eyes more investors
RIL on Thursday hinted about more monetising opportunities at Jio Platforms Ltd (JPL) — its subsidiary that houses all its digital services initiatives.
This comes after Facebook invested $5.7 billion, or Rs 43,574 crore, for a 9.9 per cent stake in Jio Platforms. In October last year, RIL announced the creation of a subsidiary that brought all its existing digital platform initiatives under a single umbrella.
The objective was to create a holding company in the lines of Alphabet Inc or Alibaba Holdings and unlock value by bringing in strategic investors either in the subsidiary or in its arms as well.
In a statement, RIL said that Jio Platforms has received interest from other global investors for a similar sized additional stake.
It thus hinted that another potential Rs 43,000 crore or more could come from these investors. However, RIL did not disclose the identity of these investors.
Analysts, who track RIL, are not surprised.
“After getting Facebook on board, it should not come as a surprise that other global investors will also be interested, given the potential of the digital service business in India,” an analyst with a foreign brokerage said.
RIL further said that the transaction with Facebook valued Jio Platforms Ltd at post money equity value of Rs 436,172 crore. According to the company, this would place JPL amongst the top five listed companies in India by market capitalisation within just three and half years of launch of commercial services.
Market circles do not rule out the possibility of a listing of JPL at a future date as well.
Along with the Facebook investment, Jio Platforms, Reliance Retail and WhatsApp had also entered into a commercial partnership agreement to further accelerate Reliance Retail’s New Commerce business. This saw JioMart being integrated with WhatsApp to enable consumers accessing their nearest kiranas who can provide products and services to their homes by transacting seamlessly with JioMart using WhatsApp. A pilot to this effect is now on in select areas in Maharashtra.