What Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries Has Been Buying

Reliance Industries has invested about $1 billion so far in Indian startups.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Mukesh Ambani,  chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries Ltd. (Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg)</p></div>
Mukesh Ambani, chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries Ltd. (Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg)

Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd. has invested about $1 billion so far in Indian startups as the refining-to-retail conglomerate prepares for a digital future that marries content and commerce.

Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd. last week invested $200 million (about Rs 1,490 crore) in Dunzo to pick up a 25.8% stake. The company joined the rush for delivering packages within minutes of receiving orders to win over customers.

The group has acquired or invested in a host of startup digital companies from music streaming service Saavn and furniture retailer Urban Ladder to edtech company Embibe.

Reliance Industries Acquires Majority Stake In Online Pharmacy Netmeds

Startup bets are part of overall investments across businesses by Ambani, Asia’s richest man. According to a Morgan Stanley report titled 'What Reliance is Buying', the group has invested more than $5.6 billion (about Rs 41,500 at current exchange rate) across sectors, led by telecom and digital business at $2.5 billion.

Ambani upended India’s telecom market with cheap data tariffs, driving internet usage. That’s aiding everything from online commerce to digital entertainment in the world’s second-most populous nation.

He has now committed about $10 billion (Rs 75,000 crore) to develop India’s clean energy ecosystem by building everything from solar modules to hydrogen fuel cells. The group has already invested more than $1.3 billion in its new energy business.

And it's increasing its hospitality footprint. Reliance Industries said over the weekend that it has agreed to buy an indirect 73.37% stake in Mandarin Oriental New York for $98.15 million.

In April, Reliance bought Stoke Park Ltd., an iconic locale that’s been the setting for two James Bond films, for $79 million. Reliance already owns 18.83% stake in EIH Ltd., the operator of the Oberoi Group of luxury hotels in India. And it's also developing a convention centre, hotel, and managed residences in Bandra-Kurla Complex, Mumbai.