New Delhi, Jan 28: Bharti Airtel, one of India’s premier communications solutions providers, and Google today announced that they will partner on a long-term, multi-year agreement to accelerate the growth of India’s digital ecosystem.
Together, they will work 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 part of this partnership, Google intends to invest up to $1B, as part of its Google for India Digitization Fund, which includes equity investment as well as a corpus for potential commercial agreements, to be identified and agreed on mutually agreeable terms over the course of the next five years.
This will comprise a $700M equity investment in Bharti Airtel at a price per share of INR 734 and up to $300M towards implementing commercial agreements, which will include investments in scaling Airtel’s offerings that covers a range of devices to consumers via innovative affordability programs as well as other offerings aimed at accelerating access and digital inclusion across India’s digital ecosystem.
This deal will be subject to necessary regulatory approvals.
The two organizations recognize the importance of a connected India, in empowering businesses as they progress on their Digital Transformation journeys, and building a strong digital ecosystem for consumers everywhere. Both organizations are committed to working towards building an open technology ecosystem that serves customers and businesses with innovative digital services, and have agreed to jointly explore and invest across a wide spectrum of areas to create digital solutions that uniquely serve India’s requirements.
As a part of its first commercial agreement, Airtel and Google will work together to build on Airtel’s extensive offerings that covers a range of Android-enabled devices to consumers via innovative affordability programs. Together, the companies will continue to explore further opportunities to bring down the barriers of owning a smartphone across a range of price points, in partnership with various device manufacturers.