Google will invest up to $1 billion in Airtel as part of its Google for India Digitization Fund. This deal will include a $700 million equity investment which will give the company 1.28 percent stake in Airtel as well as a corpus of up to $300M. Both the companies announced their long-term, multi-year agreement for partnership with the objective to “accelerate the growth of India’s digital ecosystem”.
Google for India Digitization Fund
Airtel and Google vow to work together 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”.
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.Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman of Bharti Airtel
With this partnership, the companies plan to join hands to make Airtel’s services more accessible and give it a wider reach with innovative affordability programs. Google and Airtel’s joint statement adds that they will partner with device manufacturers to bring down the price of smartphones.
Airtel is a leading pioneer shaping India’s digital future, and we are proud to partner on a shared vision for expanding connectivity and ensuring equitable access to the Internet for more Indians. Our commercial and equity investment in Airtel is a continuation of our Google for India Digitization Fund’s efforts to increase access to smartphones, enhance connectivity to support new business models, and help companies on their digital transformation journey.Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet
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The companies will also team up to increase the scope of 5G in India, which will help in faster deployment of 5G networks and services in India. Additionally, the country’s cloud ecosystem will get a major upgrade.
A Beneficial Partnership
This partnership will be beneficial for both parties. Google will be able to secure a wider reach in the Indian market by getting more people to use the internet. This will also benefit Airtel by driving up 4G data usage. Furthermore, their push for 5G use-cases specifically tailored for India could increase the adoption of 5G in the country.
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