Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), along with promoters of Innovation Endeavors, WeWork founder Adam Neumann, investor Tim Draper, and others, have acquired a 12.7% shareholding in SkyTran Inc, a US-based company involved in personal rapid transit systems. RIL will now have an exclusive partnership with the company in India, with which it will develop pilot implementations of its network in India at scale, collaborate on the SkyTran ‘solution’ in telecom (4G/5G/IoT/Giga Fiber), digital platforms and services, advanced materials and electrical batteries. The exact nature of this partnership is unclear when it comes to implementation or development of these technologies.
RIL also has an option to invest upto $25 million more in convertible notes, subject to SkyTran’s Board approval. It will nominate a director on the board of SkyTran. SkyTran was founded in 2011 and has developed ‘advanced magnetic levitation and propulsion technologies’ for intercity mobility at high speed. It has partnered with NASA and Israel Aerospace Industries for this. According to RIL’s statement, SkyTran has 8 approved and 40 pending patents across the world, including in India.