Qualcomm’s venture capital arm is investing Rs 730 crore (~US$97 million) in Jio Platforms, the two companies announced on Sunday. Qualcomm Ventures will be picking up a 0.15% stake from Jio Platforms, which owns Reliance Jio and Reliance Industries Limited’s other digital undertakings. This is the smallest announced investment yet into Jio Platforms, only behind Intel Capital, which announced last week that it would be picking up a 0.39% stake for Rs 1,894.50 crore (US$250 million). Qualcomm Ventures has also invested in Zoom, YourStory, Waze, PayPal, Cloudflare, and Xiaomi.
Jio Platforms has now raised Rs 118,318.45 crore, having crossed the one trillion rupee mark last month. On June 25, the Competition Commission of India approved Facebook’s US$5.7 billion (Rs 43,574 crore) investment in Jio Platforms to pick up a 9.99% stake.
These are now all of Jio Platforms’s Investors:
|Investor [Stake%]||Amount (₹)|
|Facebook [9.9%]||43,574 crore (US$5.7 billion)|
|Silver Lake (1, 2) [2.08%]||10,202.55 crore (US$1.34 billion)|
|Vista [2.32%]||11,367 crore (US$1.5 billion)|
|General Atlantic [1.34%]||6,598.38 crore (US$870 million)|
|KKR & Co. Ltd. [2.32%]||11,367 crore (US$1.5 billion)|
|Mubadala [1.85%]||9,093.60 crore (US$1.2 billion)|
|Abu Dhabi Investment Authority [1.16%]||5,683 crore (US$747 million)|
|TPG Capital [0.93%]||4,546.80 crore (US$600 million)|
|L Catterton [0.39%]||1,894.50 crore (US$250 million)|
|Public Investment Fund [2.32%]||11,367 crore (US$1.5 billion)|
|Intel Capital [0.39%]||1,894.50 crore (US$250 million)|
|Qualcomm Ventures [0.15%]||730 crore (US$97 million)|
Qualcomm Ventures accounts for 0.15% of all external investment into Jio Platforms — it’s the light blue slice on the top in the figure below.
In its earnings call for Q4FY20 on April 30, RIL had said that investments similar to size in Facebook were going to follow in the coming months. A key part of Jio Platforms, in addition to the Jio network, is JioMart, the grocery home delivery service that will be closely integrated with Facebook’s WhatsApp, which 400 million people have installed in India.
- Increased focus on telecom and B2C: Reliance is preparing to sell off a significant oil and petrochemicals wing, worth tens of billions of dollars. Now that telecom and home delivery are among the few industries which are likely to survive the throes of this pandemic, the company’s focus on telecom is likely to intensify. With its own $21 billion infusion into Jio Platforms and Facebook’s capital, the company is likely to double down on these businesses. Its existing retail network and size will help it scale.
- Will Jio deliver? As JioMart pilots in Maharashtra, Jio’s integration with WhatsApp will determine the shape of things to come. Under normal circumstances, JioMart would be a calculated risk with all the competition in place. But Jio’s resources and a sharp uptick in preference for home-delivered groceries should give Jio a solid opportunity to make a mark here, and make it fast; during its earnings call, the company said it would accelerate JioMart’s deployment in the coming months. What’s more, groceries have driven Reliance Retail’s growth in the past quarter (with year-over-year growth of 107%), so home delivery should boost those revenues further.