Jio Platforms

Jio Platforms raises $1.5 billion from ByteDance backer

22 May 2020 | Melanie Mingas

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Jio Platforms has raised a further US$1.5 billion after global investment firm KKR became the fifth company in as many weeks to back the Indian telco and tech giant.

The investment, made from KKR’s Asia private equity and growth technology funds, fives KKR a 2.32% equity stake in Jio Platforms on a fully diluted basis. KKR’s portfolio spans oil, non-bank lenders, food, health and more than 20 tech companies, including TikTok parent company ByteDance.

The latest deal takes the total raised since late April to $10.3 billion for 17.47% of the company, following earlier deals with Facebook, Silver Lake and Vista. Five days ago, General Atlantic confirmed an investment of $870 million for a 1.34% equity stake.

Mukesh Ambani, chairman and MD of Reliance Industries, said: “I am delighted to welcome KKR, one of the world’s most respected financial investors, as a valued partner in our onward march to growing and transforming the Indian digital ecosystem for the benefit of all Indians.

“KKR shares our ambitious goal of building a premier digital society in India. KKR has a proven track record of being a valuable partner to industry-leading franchises and has been committed to India for many years. We are looking forward to leveraging KKR’s global platform, industry knowledge and operational expertise to further grow Jio.”

KKR said that since inception, it has invested a total enterprise value of more than $30 billion in tech companies. In addition, it said India has been a “key strategic market” since KKR made its first investment there in 2006.

KKR entered the UK market in 2019 after acquiring a majority stake in in full-fibre provider Hyperoptic and earlier this year, Telecom Italia (TIM) chose KKR to support its merger with Open Fiber.

Henry Kravis, KKR co-founder and co-CEO, said: "Few companies have the potential to transform a country’s digital ecosystem in the way that Jio Platforms is doing in India, and potentially worldwide. Jio Platforms is a true homegrown next generation technology leader in India that is unmatched in its ability to deliver technology solutions and services to a country that is experiencing a digital revolution.

"We are investing behind Jio Platforms’ impressive momentum, world-class innovation and strong leadership team, and we view this landmark investment as a strong indicator of KKR’s commitment to supporting leading technology companies in India and Asia Pacific."