Qualcomm invests $97M in Reliance Jio; Google commits $10B to India

The venture arm of Qualcomm today said it will invest up to $97.1 million in India's Jio Platforms, amounting to about a 0.15% equity stake. The investment will support Jio Platforms on its journey to roll out advanced 5G infrastructure and services for Indian customers.

Jio Platforms, which counts more than 388 million mobile subscribers in India, is majority-owned by Reliance Industries. Jio’s vision is to further enable a digital India for 1.3 billion people and businesses across the country, using technologies such as cloud and edge computing, artificial intelligence, augmented reality and blockchain.

Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries said in a statement, “Qualcomm has been a valued partner for several years…Qualcomm offers deep technology knowhow and insights that will help us deliver on our 5G vision and the digital transformation of India for both people and enterprises.”

And Steve Mollenkopf, CEO of Qualcomm, said, “As an enabler and investor with a longstanding presence in India, we look forward to playing a role in Jio's vision to further revolutionize India’s digital economy.”

Jio has picked up a slew of investments lately, including Intel Capital, Facebook, Abu Dhabi’s two largest sovereign investment arms, Silver Lake, Vista Equity Partners and General Atlantic.

Facebook’s recent investment totaled $5.7 billion.

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In other related news today, Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai announced a $10 billion Google for India Digitization Fund to help accelerate India’s digital economy.

Pichai, who grew up in India, said today, “Thanks to Prime Minister Modi’s vision for Digital India, the country has made huge progress in getting a billion Indians online. Low-cost smartphones combined with affordable data and a world-class telecom infrastructure have paved the way for new opportunities.”

Through its Google for India Digitization Fund, Google will invest about $10 billion into India over the next 5-7 years. According to Pichai, the investments will focus on four areas important to India’s digitization: 

  • Enabling affordable access and information for every Indian in their own language, whether it’s Hindi, Tamil, Punjabi or any other
  • Building new products and services that are deeply relevant to India’s unique needs
  • Empowering businesses as they continue or embark on their digital transformation
  • Leveraging technology and AI for social good, in areas like health, education, and agriculture