Reliance Jio continues tryst with startups
Reliance Industries Ltd’s fascination with the startup space continues. And this time, it comes in the form of a strategic investment of Rs 700 crore (about $100 million) in enterprise conversational AI startupHaptik by telecom giant Reliance Jio for around 87 percent stake.
Of the total investment, Rs 230 crore will go for the initial business transfer. On a fully diluted basis, Reliance Industries will hold about 87 percent of the business with the rest being held by Haptik founders and employees through stock option grants, Haptik said in a release.
Speaking on the investment, AkashAmbani, Director, Reliance Jio, said, “This strategic investment underlines our commitment to further boost the digital ecosystem and provide Indian users conversational AI enabled devices with multi-lingual capabilities. We believe voice interactivity will be the primary mode of interaction for Digital India. We are delighted to announce this partnership, and look forward to working with the experienced team of Haptik.”
With the investment, Haptik’s existing shareholder – Times Internet – will exit the company. As part of the investment, Haptik’s business and holdings will be transferred to a new company – Reliance Jio Digital Services Limited – but products will continue to be branded as Haptik. In future, however, Haptik could use the Reliance brand name.