Google will invest up to $1 billion in Airtel. Both companies announced a long-term multi-year partnership agreement today. This is part of the search giant’s Google for India Digitisation Fund.
Both Google and Airtel aim to grow and accelerate India’s digital ecosystem over the next five years. This isn’t the first time Google is joining hands with India’s telecom operator. The Sundar Pichai-led company had previously invested in Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance’s digital unit Jio Platforms.
Google announces partnership with Airtel
The $1 billion deal includes the search giant infusing $700 million (~Rs 5,255 crore) to acquire a 1.28 percent stake in Airtel at Rs 734 per share. The rest of $300 (~Rs 2,250 crore) million will be allocated towards implementing commercial initiatives and accelerating India’s digital ecosystem over the next five years. It will also be used towards scaling the telecom operator’s offerings.
Both Google and Airtel are said to bring best in class end-to-end products to serve customer needs, provide quality customer experience, and bring their expertise to solve problems of affordability, access, and digital inclusion.
As a part of the partnership, Google and Airtel will work together on a range of services. The two companies will focus on enabling affordable access to smartphones across various price points. They will also potentially co-create India specific network domain use cases for 5G. The search engine giant and telecom operator will also work on accelerating the cloud ecosystem for businesses across India.
Commenting on the partnership, Bharti Airtel Chairman, Sunil Mittal said, “Airtel and Google share the vision to grow India’s digital dividend through innovative products. With our future ready network, digital platforms, last mile distribution and payments ecosystem, we look forward to working closely with Google to increase the depth and breadth of India’s digital ecosystem,”