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Indian Telco Jio To Get Investment From Intel, Following $5.7 Billion Bet By Facebook

Indian Telco Jio To Get Investment From Intel, Following $5.7 Billion Bet By Facebook
It was just three months ago that the social media giant Facebook announced its decision to make an investment of $5.7 billion in Indian telco Jio Platforms. This week, United States based chip maker Intel said that it would be making an investment of more than $250 million in Jio Platforms.
The news of the investment from Intel was announced by the billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries owned company in a media release via Twitter. The company said that a 0.39% stake in the Jio Platform will be taken up by Intel through its investment of $253.5 million into the company which is valued at $65 billion.
In April, Facebook announced its investment in the company for a 9.9% stake. Intel’s investment will be made in the Indian company through the chipmaker’s venture firm, Intel Capital.
Since being launched in 2016, there are more than 388 million 4G subscribers of the Jio Platforms which operates the Jio Infocomm telecom network in India. Currently, the company is the largest telco in India. It also has a number of apps and other services in e-commerce and broadband.
“Jio Platforms’ focus on applying its impressive engineering capabilities to bring the power of low-cost digital services to India aligns with Intel’s purpose of delivering breakthrough technology that enriches lives,” said Wendell Brooks, Intel Capital President, in a statement.
“We believe digital access and data can transform business and society for the better,” Brooks added.  
The telecom and internet is growing fast in India, a market of 1.35 billion people, and this has made the Indian market a lucrative one for investors who do not want to miss out on that opportunity - particularly in the area of technological advances.
Intel’s investment will help ensure India’s “5G network has a healthy share of Intel solutions”, said technology research analyst Neil Shah on Twitter.
The aim of Ambani, the richest man in India is to sell off at least 20% of Jio Platforms to raise cash for debt-ridden parent company Reliance Industries, which is invested heavily in oil and petrochemicals. A net debt pile of around $20 billion was reported by Reliance Industries.
Billions into Jio Platforms have been invested already by US investors like KKR, General Atlantic, Silver Lake and Vista.
An announcement of investing $1.2 billion in the company was made last month by UAE sovereign wealth fund Mubadala. And $1.5 billion into the company has been pumped in by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.
Facebook’s investment was the company’s biggest deal since its $19 billion WhatsApp purchase.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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