Reliance Industries acquires stake in US tech venture

Reliance Industries Ltd is investing $16 million (about Rs 107.5 crore) in US-based tech start-up NetraDyne Inc. RIL has already made half of the payment on 31 May is likely to pay the remainder by 31 March 2017.

RIL will make the investments by way of Compulsorily Convertible Preferred Shares through its subsidiary Reliance Industrial Investments and Holdings Ltd (RIIHL). On conversion of the investment, RIIHL will hold about 40 per cent of NetraDyne's fully diluted share capital.

San Diego-headquartered NetraDyne, makes technology driven deep learning solutions and vision-based analytics, RIL said in a regulatory filing.

NetraDyne, which is yet to commence commercial operations, is currently said to be in advanced stages of developing technology for sectors such as fleet management, automotive, security and surveillance, the statement said.

''There are potential synergies with telecom and digital business initiatives of RIL (through its subsidiaries) apart from commercialisation benefits in India,'' RIL said.

RIL, through its digital arm Reliance Jio Infocomm, is close to launching 4G LTE services in the country, while the group was to invest over Rs250,000 crore in the digital space, including rollout of wireless broadband infrastructure and manufacturing of mobile handsets.

Apart from the US, NetraDyne also has a presence in India. The company was co-founded by Avneesh Agrawal, was senior vice president of technology and business at Qualcomm for over 10 years. He has over 20 years of experience in research, product development, business and sales and marketing.

The other cofounder is David Julian, who has over 20 years of experience in high tech R&D.