Qualcomm Ventures buys into the Reliance Jio mission

With the Jio Platforms business unit now valued at roughly $65 billion, Qualcomm Ventures has become the latest to invest in the burgeoning Indian digital champion.

In the 82 days since Reliance Industries agreed to sell 9.9% stake in Jio Platforms, the unit containing Reliance Jio and other digital ventures, to Facebook, the firm has collected more than $15 billion in additional investment. 25.15% of the firm might have been carved off for outside investors (and influences) but the mission to disrupt India has a substantial war chest to lean on now.

“With our shared goal of extending the benefits of digital connectivity to everyone and everything, we anticipate Jio Platforms will deliver a new set of services and experiences to Indian consumers,” said Steve Mollenkopf, CEO of Qualcomm.

“With unmatched speeds and emerging use cases, 5G is expected to transform every industry in the coming years. Jio Platforms has led the digital revolution in India through its extensive digital and technological capabilities. As an enabler and investor with a longstanding presence in India, we look forward to playing a role in Jio’s vision to further revolutionize India’s digital economy.”

Although India is still bringing itself into the 4G era, it does appear some of these investments are eyeing the mid- to long-term future. Intel Capital has serious interest in the AI and IOT segments, while Qualcomm is firmly focused on 5G developments. The majority of these investors might be geared towards the wider digital economy, the app ecosystem for example for which 4G is a very effective catalyst, but Qualcomm’s interest is much more focused.

Indian telcos might still be upgrading customers to 4G from previous generations, its 700.8 million 4G subscriptions are only 67% of the total, Omdia is forecasting very aggressive 5G deployment. The analyst firm suggests there will be 12.3 million 5G subscriptions in 2021, before jumping to 179.9 million in 2024.

Private investment in Jio Platforms
Investor Stake Date Value
Qualcomm Ventures 0.15% July 12 $97 million
Intel Capital 0.39% July 3 $253 million
PIF 2.32% June 18 $1.5 billion
L Catterton 0.39% June 13 $250 million
TPG 0.93% June 13 $600 million
ADIA 1.16% June 7 $750 million
Silver Lake 0.93% June 5 $600 million
Mubadala 1.85% June 5 $1.2 billion
KKR 2.32% May 22 $1.5 billion
General Atlantic 1.34% May 17 $860 million
Vista Equity Partner 2.32% May 8 $1.5 billion
Silver Lake 1.15% May 4 $750 million
Facebook 9.9% April 22 $5.7 billion
Total 25.15% $15.56 billion