Reliance Strategic Business Ventures Limited (RSBVL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries, has acquired additional equity stake in the US-based technology company skyTran Inc for $26.76 million (around Rs 196.94 crore). The Mukesh Ambani-led company has increased its shareholding to 54.46 per cent on a fully diluted basis.
Reliance is planning to delve into developing pod taxi prototype in India, a next-generation transportation system. In November 2019, RSBVL had raised its stake in skyTran to 17.37 per cent and further to 26.3 per cent in April 2020.
Commenting on the development, Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and MD of Reliance Industries, said, "Our acquiring majority equity stake in skyTran reflects our commitment to invest in building futuristic technologies that would transform the world. 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. 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."
The law firms Covington & Burling LLP and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer US LLP acted as legal counsel and IP counsel respectively to Reliance Industries.
skyTran is a technology company incorporated under the laws of Delaware, United States of America (USA) in 2011. skyTran has developed breakthrough passive magnetic levitation & propulsion technology for implementing personal transportation systems aimed at solving the problem of traffic congestion globally. The technology has been developed by skyTran to create Smart Mobility Solutions. The proposed skyTran transportation systems would consist of computer-controlled passenger pods running on its state-of-the-art, patented Passive Magnetic Levitation technology and would use cutting edge IT, Telecom, loT and Advanced Materials technologies to transport passengers in a fast, safe, green, and economical manner. It is also supported by notable global venture capital investors such as Innovation Endeavors.