UPDATE (October 1): Reliance announced on Wednesday evening that Silver Lake’s co-investors will be investing ₹1,875 crore (~US$255 million) into Jio Platforms, in addition to the ₹7,500 crore (US$1.01 billion) the firm had announced earlier. This brings the amount invested into Reliance Retail on Wednesday to ₹5,550 crore (~US$754 million).
Earlier (September 30): After KKR and Silver Lake, General Atlantic is the latest Jio Platforms investor to acquire a stake in Reliance Industries. The US-based investment firm will invest ₹3,675 crore (~US$498 million) into Reliance Retail for a 0.84% stake in the company, the companies announced on Tuesday. In May, General Atlantic had announced an investment of ₹6,598.38 crore (~US$894 million) in Jio Platforms for a 1.34% equity stake. Reliance Retail has now raised ₹16,675 crore from big Jio Platforms investors. With this investment, Reliance Retail’s equity value has gone up from ₹4.21 lakh crore to ₹4.285 lakh crore.
Jio Platforms’ investors making these bets for Reliance Retail in addition to Jio Platforms seems to indicate their confidence in the Mukesh Ambani-led conglomerate’s ability to dominate these categories. Case in point: in 2015, General Atlantic had a total of US$500 million planned for India as a whole. Now, the firm has invested twice as much into Reliance Industries alone. Other investors are expected to follow — Mubadala, which invested ₹9093.60 crore in Jio Platforms, is rumoured to be exploring a billion dollar investment in to Reliance Retail.
Reliance Retail owns JioMart, which is in beta in over 200 cities and towns, and is a competitor to firms like BigBasket and Grofers. JioMart is a significant part of Reliance’s digital strategy, as dominance in retail would be a significant achievement for the conglomerate. In August, Reliance Retail acquired the Future Group’s retail, wholesale and logistics business, including brands like Big Bazaar, for ₹24,713 crore. With General Atlantic, KKR and Silver Lake’s investments, Reliance Retail has already raised two-thirds of that purchase price from external investors within two months.