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Reliance increases its stake to 26.3% in US-based tech company SkyTran 

On April 29, 2020, Reliance Strategic Business Ventures Limited(RSBVL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Limited(RIL), has increased its stake to 26.3% on a fully diluted basis in US-based SkyTran Incorporated(Inc), a venture-funded technology company which develops modern transport modes including personal rapid transit system.Reliance increases stake SkyTran

  • No regulatory approvals were required in India for the acquisition of shares.

Following resulted in an increase of its stake in SkyTran Inc.

i.The company has hiked its stake in SkyTran Inc.to 17.37% through RSBVL on a fully diluted basis in November 2019.

ii.RSBVL acquired convertible notes in two tranches, the first one on November 29, 2019, and the second one on March 23, 2020, which were converted into shares of SkyTran Inc on April 27, 2020, upon certain conditions being satisfied.

Key Points

i.RIL has invested in SkyTran to play an active role in advancing solutions, especially in telecom, digital platforms and services, advanced materials, electric batteries and also to develop India’s first pod taxi prototype, a next-generation transportation system

ii.The idea of pod taxis in India was first undertaken by Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari in 2016,  National Institution for Transforming India(NITI) Aayog in January 2017 had cleared the ministry’s proposal through its panel to test 3 rapid transport systems with the use of pod taxis.

What are Pod taxis?
It is an automated, driverless personal rapid transit system that functions on overhead suspension or magnetic levitation.

About SkyTran Inc:
Founded in 2011, it has been working on creating a high-speed, scalable transport system that is low-cost & has partnered with National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the United States and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) in Israel
Headquarters– Irvine, California
Chairman and CEO– Jerry Sanders

About RIL:
Headquarters– Mumbai,Maharashtra
CEO– Mukesh Ambani