Microsoft and Reliance Jio are in talks of $2 Bn Investment

indica News Bureau-


Microsoft is reportedly looking to join the parade of investors in Reliance Jio Platforms, with reports of a $2 Bn investment in Reliance’s digital services company.

A report from The Mint reveals that Microsoft, which had been discussing possible investments with several players in the digital services business, could acquire a 2.5% stake. Jio Platforms is a unit of India’s most valuable company Reliance Industries.

Jio Platforms which runs Reliance Jio, Jio Fiber, MyJio, JioTV, JioCinema, Jio Mart JioNews, JioSaavn, and other services has recently raised over $12.3 Bn from investors such as Facebook, KKR, Vista Equity Partners in recent weeks.

This could be a unique, long-term strategic relationship aimed at accelerating the digital transformation of the Indian economy and society. Strategized as a 10-year commitment, it combines the world-class capabilities of both companies to offer a detailed set of solutions comprising connectivity, computing, storage solutions, and other technology services and applications essential for Indian businesses and will span the broad Reliance Industries ecosystem including its existing and new businesses.

Reliance had said that, if the deal goes through, it would offer Microsoft Office 365 productivity suite and email exchange server support to startups. Besides this, the company said it would build new custom solutions on Microsoft Azure for large enterprises as well in advanced technologies such as data analytics, AI, cognitive services, blockchain, IoT, and edge computing.

Facebook was among the first of the tech giants to commit itself to Ambani’s dream of creating a monolith in the digital marketplace, including taking on Amazon and the Walmart-owned Flipkart on the eCommerce front with their Jio Mart, an online venture that went live just a week ago.

Although this partnership is still in its initial stages, it is poised to offer tremendous possibilities for Indian businesses. However, a report from Bloomberg suggests that there is no guarantee that the investment from Microsoft would go through though earlier this year Microsoft had partnered with Reliance Jio to set up data centers across the country. They had also done a deal whereby Jio would use Microsoft Azure’s cloud service for enterprise customers.

It is also said that Mukesh Ambani is in discussions with banks for an overseas public listing of Jio Platforms. The company is planning to list itself over the next 12 to 24 months, but no final decision has been taken on the timeline and size of the listing.