Google will invest $1 billion in Airtel |

Google will invest $1 billion in Airtel

Google will invest up to $1 billion in India’s second largest telecom operator, Airtel, and acquire a 1.28% stake in the company.


Airtel has over 400 million customers in India (a country with the world’s second largest internet market) and a few other places, making it an attractive investment for Google.

Google and Android have stated that they will work to enhance Airtel’s offerings to cover a range of Android devices via “innovative affordability programs.” 

They also promised to explore partnerships with smartphone makers to “bring down the barriers of owning a smartphone across a range of price points.”

“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.” - Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet

“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.”

Airtel and Vodafone are currently scrambling to repay billions of dollars they owe to the Indian government. Vodafone gave away over 35% to the Indian government earlier this month, making them the largest shareholder.

Airtel will explore “larger strategic goals” with Google and will shape and grow the cloud ecosystem in India.

“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.” - Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman of Bharti Airtel

With over 600 million internet users, and just as many yet to come, India is the last great growth market for American tech giants. 

TAGS: Airtel, Google