In response to past crises, investments in physical infrastructure have helped the United States recover and thrive after significant challenges. After both the Great Depression and the Great Recession, for example, increased investment in transportation infrastructure was a key part of bringing the American economy back from disaster.
The COVID-19 pandemic and its attendant economic crisis requires a similarly significant response, but it also asks of lawmakers to consider what is next. We can’t just invest in highways—we also need to invest in the technology underpinning the information superhighway. To rebuild from one of the greatest challenges of our time, the United States must invest both in physical and digital infrastructure to secure its recovery.
For the last few years, both Democrats and Republicans have called for major infrastructure investments, only for them not to materialize. These efforts to fund infrastructure investment have focused on the physical world—highways, railroads, bridges. While those are important areas for investment, we must not forget the equal importance of digital infrastructure, especially the free and open-source software (FOSS) that is built mostly by volunteer labor and underpins the digital world. FOSS is even working its way into the physical world, as it is built into our phones, cars, and refrigerators.
FOSS began in the 1980s as an effort to give developers the ability to tinker with and alter software, which was prevented by most software vendors at the time. This led to the “free” in FOSS being defined as “Free as in Free Speech, not as in Free Beer,” although frequently the software was also free of costs. For years, FOSS was primarily the domain of hobbyists, but as computing and the internet became a larger part of daily life, so too did FOSS. The untiring efforts of countless volunteers collaborating remotely eventually led
(Reuters) – Indian oil-to-telecoms conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd said on Saturday Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC and global private equity firm TPG Capital invested a combined 73.50 billion rupees (about $1 billion) in its retail unit.
Reliance, controlled by Asia’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, has secured more than $2 billion in investments from global investors, including KKR & Co, Abu Dhabi state fund Mubadala and Silver Lake Partners, in Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd over the past few months.
GIC will invest 55.12 billion rupees for a 1.22% stake, while TPG Capital Management will invest 18.38 billion rupees to own a 0.41% equity stake in the retail arm, the company said.
The investments in Reliance Retail values the company at a pre-money equity value of 4.285 trillion rupees ($58.47 billion), Reliance said.
This is TPG Capital’s second investment in Reliance. In June, the firm invested $598 million in Reliance’s digital unit Jio Platforms.
Mumbai-headquartered Reliance has approached investors in Jio Platforms about buying stakes in its retail arm, Reuters had reported in September.
Reliance, already India’s biggest retailer with roughly 12,000 stores, forged a $3.38 billion deal in August to acquire rival Future Group’s retail business.
The conglomerate is also expanding its so-called new commerce venture, which ties neighborhood stores to Reliance for online deliveries of groceries, apparel and electronics in a space currently dominated by Walmart Inc’s Flipkart and Amazon.com Inc’s Indian arm.
($1 = 73.2900 Indian rupees)
(Reporting by Ann Maria Shibu and Aakriti Bhalla in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath and Sriraj Kalluvila)