Riding high on the dollops of love that Xiaomi (or Mi, as it is called in India) has been getting from Indian fans, Xiaomi has made an announcement (facebook post) that the company has received investment from Ratan Tata, chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons. This is the first investment by any Indian in Xiaomi.
Lei Jun, founder and CEO of Xiaomi, said: “Mr. Tata is one of the most well-respected business leaders in the world. An investment by him is an affirmation of the strategy we have undertaken in India so far. This is just the start of an exciting journey, and we are looking forward to bringing more products into India.”
The manner of and the details of the investment remain unknown. YourStory has reached out to Xiaomi officials for an update.
Image Credits: Mi India official page
At its last funding round the Chinese smartphone was valued at $45 billion when it confirmed a $1.1 billion funding round led by All-Stars Investment, DST, GIC, Hopu Fund and Yunfeng Capital among others.
Since capturing the attention of and eventually leading the Chinese market within four years of its inception, Xiaomi, after launching in India in July last year, has found a strong foothold in the second largest smartphone market. The firm is big on India and VP Hugo Barra has spent majority of his time in India throughout the last year.
"We're really excited to announce our newest Xiaomi investor — Mr Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons. We're incredibly honored by this extraordinary vote of confidence. Mr Tata is very excited about Xiaomi and our plans for India, and we're really looking forward to working with him as an investor and advisor!," said Barra via a post on Facebook.
Barra, who on April 23, launched Mi 4i, Xiaomi's flagship phone in front of a raving and applauding 1600-stron crowd at New Delhi mentioned that the 'i' in the name stood for India. “The Indian consumer is probably the most demanding consumer I have encountered in my career,” Barra had told YourStory in a previous interview.
In the same interview Barra had revealed Xiaomi's plans for India which included:
1. Having a significant presence in Bangalore
2. Building a substantial software engineering presence in India
3. Opening a global R&D centre in India
4. Opening more Customer support centres and Exclusive service centres in India
5. ‘Indianizing’ the MiUi themes and the Mi bunny (Xiaomi's mascot)