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Reliance Jio makes a punt on tech start-ups

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MUMBAI: After closing Saavn and Embibe deals, Reliance Jio, according to a report published by The Economic Times, is now looking to acquire Indian start-ups in the technology ecosystem.

In a bid to take on its competition, Reliance Jio is now looking to invest more to create a comprehensive ecosystem of digital products and services around its core telecom service.

To add more relevant entertainment and education content to its Jio platform, the company is looking to invest in or acquire start-ups operating in the content, healthcare, education technology, financial technology and transportation segments. It might also look at Jio aligning with product technology ventures, particularly those operating in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).

In April, Reliance Jio Music and Saavn leveraged their synergies to jointly strengthen their foothold in the Indian music streaming market. The combined value of the companies has been pegged at $1 billion, out of which Jio Music’s implied valuation is $670 million leaving Saavn at a valuation of $330 million. With this, Reliance also acquired a partial stake in Saavn from its existing shareholders for $104 million.

Also, soon after this, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) agreed to invest over $180 Mn into AI-based education platform, Embibe over the next three years. This will put RIL in a position to buy out around 72.69% stake from Embibe’s existing investors including Lightbox and Kalaari Capital.

Leading Jio’s charge into the start-up ecosystem is Akash Ambani, the 27-year-old Brown University-educated older son of Mukesh Ambani. Akash Ambani, chief of strategy at the company, is believed to be deeply involved in the negotiations.

Also Read :

Jio Music, Saavn to merge; RIL to invest $100 mn in combined entity

Jio shifts focus to wired broadband

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