It was widely predicted that Reliance Retail Ventures Limited will pursue the business plan that had worked so well for Jio Platforms in terms of attracting big investors. In line with that, after raising $1.08 billion (Rs 11,367 crore) from Silver Lake earlier this month, Reliance Retail today announced that global investment firm KKR will chip in with Rs 5,550 crore. 

This investment values Reliance  Retail at a pre-money equity value of Rs 4.21 lakh crore. KKR’s investment will translate into a  1.28% equity stake in Reliance Retail. 

Again, as had been widely speculated, the firms that put in money in Jio Platforms are the ones who are coming back for investing in Reliance Retail. KKR had pumped in $1.5 billion (Rs 11,367 crore) in Jio Platforms  earlier this year.

KKR deepens its India connection

In a media statement, Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries, said, “I am  pleased to welcome KKR as an investor in Reliance Retail Ventures as we continue our onward  march to growing and transforming the Indian Retail ecosystem for the benefit of all Indians. KKR  has a proven track record of being a valuable partner to industry-leading franchises and has been  committed to India for many years. 

Henry Kravis, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of KKR, said, “We are pleased to deepen our  relationship with Reliance Industries through this investment in Reliance Retail Ventures, which  is empowering merchants of all sizes and fundamentally changing the retail experience for Indian  consumers. Reliance Retail’s new commerce platform is filling an important need for both  consumers and small businesses as more Indian consumers move to shopping online and the  company offers tools for Kiranas to be a critical part of the value chain.

Founded in 1976, KKR has $222 billion in assets. It has investments, among others, in Epic Games, OutSystems, Internet Brands, Go-jek and Voyager Innovations.  KKR has approximately  $5.1 billion in private equity investments across more than 15 Indian companies, including Jio  Platforms, JB Chemicals, Max Healthcare, Eurokids International and Ramky Enviro Engineers. 

Reliance Retail a monopoly?

Reliance Retail, which in August had taken over Kishore Biyani-helmed Future Group’s retail ventures, will help it to dominate the sector that it aims to achieve through a two-pronged strategy.

The first is, of course, through Reliance Retail’s brick and mortar stores. Reliance Retail enjoys close to 640 million footfalls across its 12,000 stores  nationwide.

The second plank of the strategy is to back Jio Mart, the much-vaunted e-commerce platform of Reliance Group that has been unveiled for 200 cities across India.

Jio Mart is positioned to take on Walmart-backed Flipkart and the other behemoth in the business Amazon

Jio Mart, apart from using the inventory of kirana stores in each neighbourhood, hopes to ride piggyback on the massive infrastructure Reliance Retail is building.     

Reliance Retail is pushing merchants to use technology tools and create an efficient supply chain infrastructure to help deliver a superior value proposition to the customers.