New Delhi: India’s rising clout in the digital space has encouraged Facebook to invest Rs.43,574 crore ($5.7 billion) in Mukesh Ambani’s Jio Platforms. With this deal, the social media giant will have a 9.99% stake in the Indian company.
This is by far Facebook’s largest investment in the developing market and shows how much India has made a mark on the global digital economy. Currently, 40 crore people in the country are using WhatsApp and more than 30 crore use Facebook. We must remember that the total population of the United States is just over 32 crores.
Announcing the mega deal, Chairman of Reliance Industries, Mukesh Ambani, said, “All of us at Reliance and Jio are delighted to welcome Facebook Inc. as our long term and esteemed partner. At the core of our partnership is the commitment that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and I share for the all-round digital transformation of India and for serving all Indians.”
He added that in the very near future, JioMart, which is Jio’s new commerce platform and WhatsApp will empower about 3 crore small Indian kirana shops to digitally transact with every customer in their neighbourhood.
Facebook is eyeing the booming online business in India and sees huge potential in the coming years.
Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg said, “The country is in the middle of a major digital transformation, and organizations like Jio have played a big part in getting hundreds of millions of Indian people and small businesses online.”
He added, “With communities around the world in lockdown, many of these entrepreneurs need digital tools they can rely on to find and communicate with customers and grow their businesses.”
Facebook’s Chief Revenue Officer, David Fischer said, “By bringing together JioMart, Jio’s small-business initiative, with WhatsApp, we can enable people to connect with businesses, shop and ultimately purchase products in a seamless mobile experience.”