In the past year, Jio has also forayed into the video gaming category, unveiled a video call assistant to automate customer support, inked a deal with Microsoft to subsidize Office 365 and Azure for small businesses in India, and unveiled plans to bring new movies to people's home on the same day of their theatrical release.
On Friday morning, KKR announced the decision to invest Rs. 11,367 crore ($1.5 billion) for a 2.32% stake in Jio Platforms. "We are looking forward to leveraging KKR's global platform, industry knowledge and operational expertise to further grow Jio", says Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries.
The deal follows Facebook picking up a 9.99 per cent stake in the firm, housing India's youngest but largest telecom company, on April 22 for Rs 43,574 crore.
KKR To Invest $1.5B In India's Jio Platforms, Joins Facebook, Three Other US Firms As Stakeholders
Jio's equity valuation of Rs 4.91 lakh crore remains unchanged with KKR's proposed investment.
Investments by leading global growth investors will enable Jio to scale its ecosystem and reaffirm the firm as a next generation software product and platform company.More news: Ukraine to investigate leaked calls between Joe Biden and ex-president | Ukraine
The relationship between RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani and KKR's co-founder Henry Karvis goes back several years, as the two had discussed potential collaboration for shale gas assets in the U.S. in 2010. The private equity fund will pay 113.7 billion rupees ($1.5 billion) for a 2.3% stake in Jio.
Within days of that deal, Silver Lake - the world's largest tech investor - bought a 1.15 per cent stake in Jio Platforms for Rs 5,665.75 crore.
KKR is making the investment from its Asia private equity and growth technology funds.More news: National Hockey League looking to confirm playoff teams
Often saying "data is the new oil", Mr Ambani has sought to diversify his empire away from energy and petrochemicals, beginning in 2016 with the establishment of Jio Infocomm which is now India's biggest telecom carrier with more than 376 million subscribers.
KKR has invested more than US$30 billion in tech companies, including China's ByteDance and Indonesian digital payments firm GoJek.
All the five transactions are subject to regulatory approvals, with the one with Facebook likely to undergo a tighter scrutiny given concerns over net neutrality. KKR has a big presence in India and has been investing here since 2006. In the past decade, almost half a billion Indians came online for the first time, thanks in large part to Reliance Jio, which has amassed over 388 million subscribers.More news: Coronavirus to push 60 million into extreme poverty