Jiomart: Reliance and Facebook that rolled JioMart WhatsApp will have long term benefits for both: Credit Suisse

Mumbai: Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), which has rolled out JioMArt Services using WhatsApp is set to have multiple benefits but would take time to accrue those, a Credit Suisse report said Monday.

The American social media giant, is paying $5.7 billion for buying 10% in the digital arm of India’s largest conglomerate, Reliance.

Facebook gets the majority of revenues from advertisements but is also venturing into commerce (Facebook Marketplace, Instagram Checkout, WhatsApp Business accounts, Meesho investment, etc.). Incrementally, the focus is to complete the commerce transaction on Facebook platform, and therefore it is possible that at a certain stage JioMart may be available as a mini-app (similar to WeChat),” the Credit Suisse report read.

ET had first written on April 16 that RIL and Facebook were looking to create a super-app on the lines of WeChat. The plan is to create a super-app on the lines of WeChat, which combines digital payments, social media, gaming as well as flight and hotel bookings, among other features. Such an app would provide RIL a two-fold benefit — provide B2C engagement for its consumer businesses, and provide the group insights on users’ spending habits, people in the know had told ET.

JioMart services have already rolled out using WhatsApp in three regions and the company has already started reaching customers for grocery orders and Facebook’s business model is evolving to venture into commerce the Credit Suisse report said. The report said that even RIL has several benefits from the deal like “large user base of WhatsApp could significantly accelerate adoption of JioMart app; leverage Facebook’s experience to monetise data through advertising; potential access to Facebook’s technology (Oculus VR, Portal, etc.) and deleveraging.

The report goes on to say that it would take time for both the companies to accrue benefits from the deal. “The key benefit of deal is faster adoption of the New Commerce initiative on grocery. However, key bottleneck currently is to get a significant number of kirana partners on board (as delivery can then be really low cost). The deal valuation for Jio is already close to our valuation and our target price is lower than current market price due to assumption of gradual recovery in the hydrocarbons business,” the report read.

Facebook’s focus has been to drive its advertising engine, which is not surprising given that advertising revenues represent 98.5% of the firm’s total revenues. It is one of the most preferred platforms today for digital marketing by leading brands and sellers, the report read.

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