Intel invests $250M in India’s Jio Platforms
Although the name might not be familiar to those outside of India, Jio Platforms is one of the more noteworthy companies out there today. As such, India’s largest telecom firm continues to draw significant investments from international companies. Intel is the latest to join the list. The chipmaker invested $250 million in Jio according to a statement published late Thursday night.
Back in April, Jio Platforms, a four-year-old subsidiary of Reliance Industries, announced that it would be selling a 25 percent stake in its company. That move has proved to be a fruitful one. Since the announcement, Jio has raised more than $15.5 billion from a total of 12 investors-now including Intel. The Indian firm has a massive valuation of $65 billion.
Wendell Brooks, president of Intel Capital, explains the company’s enthusiasm for investing in Jio. He says, “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.”
On the other side, Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest man and controller of Reliance Industries, said that he is excited to “work together with Intel to advance India’s capabilities in cutting-edge technologies that will empower all sectors of our economy and improve the quality of life of 1.3 billion Indians.”
Intel’s move to invest in Jio is a sign of continued interest from foreign investors. That interest isn’t misguided. Last month, Bernstein analysts predicted that Jio Platforms will have 500 million customers by 2023. They went on to claim that Jio will control nearly half of India’s telecom market by 2025. Despite its already-significant valuation, Jio has plenty of room to grow.
Wealth of Services
Jio Platforms doesn’t just operate a telecom firm. It also offers a variety of digital apps and services which are available to Jio subscribers for free. They include things like JioSaavn, a music streaming service that has plans to go public sometime in the future.
It also operates a live and on-demand television service called JioTV as well as a payments app called JioMoney. If that sounds eerily similar to Amazon’s approach, that’s because it is. Jio seeks to make a product for every area of its customers’ lives.
That includes videoconferencing. On Thursday, the company launched JioMeet, a videoconferencing tool that offers unlimited calls with “up to 24-hour” time limits. Interestingly, the service looks almost identical to Zoom. Jio isn’t trying to pretend that didn’t take cues from the wildly successful platform. A side-by-side comparison shows the similarities.
As of now, it’s unclear how substantial Intel’s role in the partnership will be. The chipmaker could merely sit on the sidelines and watch its investment grow with Jio. Or, it could be the start of a larger partnership.
Originally published at https://www.theburnin.com on July 3, 2020.