Reliance Industries confirmed reports Google was set to invest in its digital unit, with the search giant committing INR337 billion ($4.5 billion) with a view to boosting smartphone penetration in India.
In a statement, Reliance Industries said Google will take a 7.73 equity stake in Jio Platforms, subject to customary approvals and regulatory clearances. The companies will focus on delivering an affordable entry-level smartphone to the market, with optimisations to the Android OS and Google Play store.
Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani noted the partnership could deliver a number of benefits, including “universalising internet usage” and “deepening the new digital economy” of the country.
Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, added the “pace and scale of digital transformation in India is hugely inspiring for us and reinforces our view that building products for India first helps us build better products for users everywhere”.
In a separate statement, Google said the Jio Platforms move was the first of a series planned as part of a broader INR750 billion investment plan announced earlier this week.
Google is the latest in a recent run of investors backing Jio Platforms, with the list including Facebook, Qualcomm and Intel among others.