Microsoft said to be in talks to invest $2b in RIL’s Jio Platforms

REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Microsoft Corp. is negotiating an investment of as much as $2 billion in billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Jio Platforms Ltd, the digital unit of India’s most valuable company, said two people aware of the discussions.

“Microsoft has been in discussions with several players in the digital payments services space. With Reliance, Microsoft is interested in buying more than a 2.5% stake in Jio Platforms,” one of the two people cited above said, seeking anonymity.

If the negotiations are successful, the world’s most valuable company will get a slice of Jio Platforms that has already attracted investments worth $10 billion in just a month from marquee investors, including Facebook Inc., KKR & Co., Silver Lake, Vista Equity Partners and General Atlantic.

While Microsoft has shown a keen interest in cementing its partnership with Jio Platforms by buying a stake in the company, there is no guarantee that the investment will go through, the second person said, also requesting anonymity.

While a Microsoft spokesperson said the company does not “have any information to share here”, an email sent to Reliance Industries did not elicit a response.

Foreign investors are making a beeline for Jio Platforms as they seek to tap India’s fast-growing digital market. Jio Platforms combines all of Reliance’s digital and telecom initiatives, including Jio digital services (mobile, broadband), apps, tech capabilities (artificial intelligence, Big Data, Internet of Things, etc.,) and other investments such as in Den Networks, Hathway Cable and Datacom Ltd.

Facebook’s April announcement that it would invest $5.7 billion for a 9.99% stake in Jio was quickly followed by $750 million from Silver Lake and $1.5 billion from Vista Equity Partners. On 17 May, Jio Platforms said it was raising $870 million from General Atlantic.

This article was first published on livemint.com.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.