Reliance Industries has acquired a majority stake in transportation startup skyTran, which is a developer of transportation systems consisting of computer-controlled passenger pods.
Paying almost $26.8 million, Reliance has doubled its equity stake in the company to now hold a 54.46% share on a fully diluted basis.
SkyTran’s transportation systems use a driverless personal rapid transit system that runs along “passive magnetic levitation technology”, Reliance said.
Mukesh Ambani, the chairman of Reliance Industries, said the acquisition was made as part of the company’s commitment to investing in futuristic technologies.
“We are excited by skyTran’s potential to achieve an order of magnitude impact on highspeed intra and inter-city connectivity and its ability to provide a high speed, highly efficient, and economical ‘transportation-as-a-service’ platform for India and the rest of the world,” he said.
“We firmly believe that non-polluting high speed personal rapid transportation system will help facilitate environmental sustainability through efficient use of alternative energy, and make an impactful reduction in air and noise pollution.”
Over the weekend, local reports said the Indian conglomerate has also partnered with Facebook, Google, and fintech startup Infibeam to set up a new digital payments system that is similar to the Indian central bank’s already-live digital payments system.
Since April last year, the company has sold off a third of its digital subsidiary, Jio Platforms, for a total of ₹152,056 crore. Buyers included Google, Facebook, Silver Lake, Vista Equity Partners, General Atlantic, KKR, Mubadala, ADIA, TPG, L Catterton, PIF, Intel Capital, and Qualcomm Ventures.