Asia’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, has just landed another $1.2 billion for his global tech ambitions — this time from Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund.
His tech company, Jio Platforms, announced Friday that it is getting roughly 91 billion rupees ($1.2 billion) from Mubadala Investment Company in exchange for a 1.85% equity stake in the business.
That brings the billionaire’s recent fundraising tally to 877 billion rupees ($11.6 billion) so far, marking the company’s sixth big investment in less than two months.
“I am delighted that Mubadala, one of the most astute and transformational global growth investors, has decided to partner [with] us in our journey to propel India’s digital growth,” Ambani said in a statement Friday.
Jio is part of Ambani’s sprawling conglomerate, Reliance Industries. It includes Reliance Jio, India’s biggest mobile network with more than 388 million subscribers. Jio also has an ecosystem of apps, offering those millions of mobile users everything from online grocery shopping, to digital payments, to video streaming.
Facebook kicked off the splurge of investments in April when it invested $5.7 billion into Jio Platforms for a roughly 10% stake. Since then, Jio has secured funding from a clutch of A-list American investors, including Silver Lake, Vista, General Atlantic and KKR.
Mubadala, meanwhile, has a portfolio worth $229 billion, with bets in tech, energy, mining, aerospace, real estate and health care.
“We have seen how Jio has already transformed communications and connectivity in India,” Khaldoon Al Mubarak, managing director and CEO of Mubadala, said in a statement.
Analysts say that Ambani’s ultimate goal is to build the next global technology company, one that will hold rank alongside the likes of Google, Tencent, Amazon and Alibaba.
The billions raised in the last few weeks will be used to fuel that ambition, as well as pay down ballooning debt at Jio’s parent company. The oil and energy industry, which forms a big part of Reliance’s business, has been badly dented by the coronavirus pandemic. Global oil demand has cratered because of sharp declines in transport, industrial and commercial activity.
Ambani said at a shareholders meeting last year that he wants Reliance Industries to become a “zero net debt company” by March 2021. As of March 2020, Reliance had about $44 billion of debt on its books.
In April, Reliance Industries said it is ahead of schedule and will achieve its zero debt target by the end of the year.