Airtel today announced that it signed a long-term, multi-year agreement with Google to accelerate the growth of India’s digital ecosystem. As a part of the deal, Google as a part of Google for India Digitization Fund will make an investment in Airtel, which will include a $700M equity investment (1.28% ownership in Airtel) and a corpus of up to $300M that will go towards implementing mutually agreed commercial initiatives over the course of the next five years.
As a part of the first commercial agreement under this deal, Google will work to scale Airtel’s extensive offerings that cover a range of devices to consumers via innovative affordability programs.
Under the larger strategic goals of the collaboration, both companies will also plan to co-create India-specific network domain use cases for 5G and other standards, and also focus on shaping and growing the cloud ecosystem in India by helping accelerate the digital transformation journeys of small and medium businesses across the country.
This deal will be subject to necessary regulatory approvals.
Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman of Bharti Airtel, said:
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.
Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, said:
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.