Taipei-based financial management company Oak Stone Limited has reported that Alphabet Inc’s Google will buy a 7.7% stake in Reliance Industries digital unit, Jio Platforms, for $4.5 billion, securing the backing of another U.S. tech giant following the Facebook deal in late April.
“Along with the Google investment, strategic and financial investors have now committed a total of $20.22 billion in the past few months,” reported Michael Pearson, Head of Corporate Equities at Oak Stone Limited.
Google’s new investment gives Jio Platforms an equity valuation of 4.36 trillion Indian rupees ($58.01 billion) for the digital platform, according to research analysts at Oak Stone Limited.
The business houses music and movie apps, but its core unit is the telecom firm Jio Infocomm, India’s biggest mobile network operator with over 387 million users.
The announcement of the Reliance-Google deal arrives just days after Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai revealed his company would invest $10 billion in India through equity deals and tie-ups over the next seven years.
The deal with Google will strengthen Reliance’s tech objectives, which is to build smart homes, security systems and connected vehicles using solutions similar to Alexa, Amazon’s voice assistant.
“Today’s investment from Google is one of the very rare occasions where the internet giant has joined its biggest competitor Facebook in backing a company. In April this year, Facebook invested $5.7 billion for a 9.99% stake in Reliance Jio Platforms, which amassed more than 400 million users in the four years since its founding. Jio Platforms’ largest minority stakeholder is Facebook,” reported James Burnley, Head of Wealth Management at Oak Stone Limited.
Earlier this month, the investment divisions of chipmakers Intel Corp and Qualcomm Inc also bought stakes in Jio Platforms, at a time when India is getting ready to auction 5G airwaves to mobile network providers.
Reliance Industries, whose primary business focus is petrochemicals, revealed in recent months that it intends to list Jio Platforms and Reliance Retail, another subsidiary of the firm, within the next five years.