India’s Reliance Industries Acquires Stake In Oil Industry-Backed Blockchain Startup Vakt

Blockchain, Investing, News | December 26, 2018 By:

Indian conglomerate holding company Reliance Industries has acquired 5.56% equity stake in blockchain startup Vakt for $5 million.

Reliance Industries is one of the most profitable companies in India, the largest publicly traded company in India by market capitalization, and the second largest company in the country as measured by revenue after the government-controlled Indian Oil Corporation. It owns businesses engaged in energy, petrochemicals, textiles, natural resources, retail, and telecommunications.

Launched as an independent firm in December 2017, Vakt is a blockchain-based post-trade processing platform. The platform is backed by energy majors BP, Shell and Statoil; trading houses Gunvor, Koch Supply & Trading, and Mercuria; and banks ABN Amro, ING and Societe Generale.

Reliance said that the strategic investment accelerates its digital journey, through active participation in an emerging and evolving, yet promising, blockchain enabled technology solution for energy markets. No regulatory approvals were required for the said acquisition of shares.

Vakt’s blockchain platform, which is expected to be rolled out early next year, aims to reduce administrative and operational risks and costs of energy trading. It will help companies move away from traditional and cumbersome paper-based trading contracts and operations documentation to digital smart contracts.

The strategic investment is Reliance’s first investment in blockchain startup. It came after Reliance Jio Infocomm, the telecom arm of Reliance Industries, was said to be in the process of hiring a team that will focus on artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and blockchain.