Facebook on Wednesday announced an investment of $5.7 billion (Rs 43,574 crore) to buy a 9.99 percent stake in Jio Platforms -- a deal that will help RIL cut debt and use WhatsApp to create an Indian ecommerce giant that could rival Amazon and Walmart.
The largest foreign direct investment (FDI) in the technology sector in India will give the US social-networking firm a broader foothold in its biggest global market.
"Today we are announcing a $5.7 billion, or Rs 43,574 crore, investment in Jio Platforms, part of Reliance Industries Ltd, making Facebook its largest minority shareholder," the company said in a statement.
Reliance Industries (RIL) in a separate statement said the investment by Facebook values Jio Platforms at Rs 4.62 lakh crore pre-money enterprise value ($65.95 billion). Facebook will be issued fresh equity shares and will get a board position on Jio Platforms. Mukesh Ambani's twin children, Isha and Akash, are also part of the board.
To discuss the road ahead for the partnership, CNBC-TV18's Shereen Bhan spoke to Sajith Pai, director at Blume Ventures; Debjani Ghosh, president of NASSCOM and R Chandrashekhar, former secretary of telecom and former president at NASSCOM.Disclosure: RIL, the promoter of Reliance Jio, also controls Network18, the parent company of CNBCTV18.com.