Facebook Is Investing $5.7 Billion In India-Based Jio

By Amit Chowdhry ● April 22, 2020
  • Facebook has become Jio’s largest minority shareholder by spending $5.7 billion for a 9.99% stake in the company

Facebook has become Jio’s largest minority shareholder by spending $5.7 billion for a 9.99% stake in the company. Jio has 388 million subscribers and the investment will enable Facebook to tap into commerce opportunities for people across India. Essentially, Facebook is planning to utilize Jio’s small business platform for WhatsApp as users would be able to make purchases directly on the messaging service.

Jio Platforms is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Jio. And Jio saw tremendous growth in India’s telecommunications industry over the last four years as it is now the leading cellular network in India.

WhatsApp has over 400 million users in India, which means it is the largest market for the messaging app. Facebook acquired WhatsApp for about $19 billion several years ago and it has been looking for more ways to monetize the messaging app.

“WhatsApp already plays an important role in helping people and businesses connect in India. Reliance Retail’s New Commerce platform, JioMart, is being built in partnership with millions of small merchants and kirana shops to empower them to better serve the needs of Indian consumers. The companies will work closely to ensure that consumers are able to access the nearest kiranas who can provide products and services to their homes by transacting seamlessly with JioMart using WhatsApp,” wrote Reliance in a press release

And Reliance Industries Ltd chairman and managing director Mukesh Ambani said that the synergy between Jio and Facebook will help realize Prime Minister Modi’s “Digital India” mission with its two ambitious goals: Ease of Living and Ease of Doing Business “for every single category of Indian people without exception.”