Social media behemoth Facebook and Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Limited are reportedly working together to develop a multi functional super-app. The key features of the app would include digital payments, social media, gaming along with flight and hotel booking options, among others.
The app would be based on the likes of Chinese super app WeChat and the duo would rope in their funding, technical strength, and domain expertise for the project. Facebook’s Whatsapp platform and its user base is also going to be leveraged for the same.
The deal stands important for Reliance as it would serve the company with dual benefits — getting B2C engagement for its customer business along with achieving group insights on its users’ spending habits.
The development comes two weeks after Facebook was also in talks to acquire a 10% stake in Indian telecom giant Reliance Jio. If the deal goes through, it would be the third investment for the Mark Zuckerberg-led company in India followed by Meesho and Unacademy.
Given the worldwide travel ban due to the coronavirus pandemic, the project has been delayed for now and the final agreement has been postponed. However, commercial due diligence for the project is still underway and Morgan Stanley has been brought in as the investment banker.
Besides, the negotiations for the deal are also being sectionalised. Both the companies have hired top consultants based in the US to explore all aspects such as legal issues and taxation, stated an ET report.
Whether the deal is going to take a form of partnership or a collaboration, or a new company will be created in which both the players will invest, or Facebook will invest in Reliance Jio and Reliance retail — clarity on all these aspects is yet to be decided.
Meanwhile, Reliance Retail is currently focusing towards keeping its stores running so that consumers get the essential supplies time to time.