Intel Capital, the venture capital arm of American chipmaker Intel, has invested around $253.5 million in India’s telecom giant Jio Platforms., the media reported.
The deal will see Intel acquire a 0.39 percent stake in Reliance’s Jio.
Wendell Brooks, Intel Capital President, said in a statement that, “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. We believe digital access and data can transform business and society for the better.”
With the investment, Intel became the newest member in Jio’s high profile list of investors which include Facebook, Silver Lake, Vista Equity Partners, General Atlantic, KKR, Mubadala, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, TPG Capital, L Catterton, and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.
Launched in 2016, Reliance Jio has established itself as a telecom giant in India in a short spell due to its competitive pricing strategy. Backed by multibillionaire Mukesh Ambani, Reliance Jio disrupted the Indian telecom sector which led to many telcos exiting the market with Vodafone on the brink of shutting down its business in India.
Experts believe Jio Platforms will have 500 million customers by 2023, and control half of the market by 2025.
Earlier this year, Facebook bought a 10 percent stake in Jio Platforms, which is owned by Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries, for around $5.7 billion.
The deal follows Facebook’s decision to launch a payment feature for WhatsApp in India.
According to Facebook, it will work closely with the Jio brand and provide innovative ways for businesses in India to help boost its digital economy.