Tech

Xiaomi to invest around Rs 7,000 Cr in 100 Indian startups to ramp up devices ecosystem

Sohini Mitter
27th Mar 2018
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The investment will take place over a period of five years and Xiaomi will handpick tech startups in both hardware and software.

Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi will be investing Rs 6,000-7,000 crore in 100 Indian startups in a bid to strengthen its devices ecosystem. The investment will pan out over a period of five years, Xiaomi announced.

Most of the startups would be chosen from the software and mobile tech space that are aligned with Xiaomi’s product offerings. The firm, which has overtaken Samsung as India’s leading smartphone vendor, revealed that it had invested in 10 startups in 2017.

Manu Kumar Jain, Managing Director and VP of Xiaomi India, said, “Till 2017 the net investment of the company was Rs 3,000 crore. In the next five years, we will invest Rs 6,000 to Rs 7,000 crore in around 100 startups in India.”

Xiaomi has been investing in China-based startups since 2013. Reports suggest that in 2017, there were 99 startups in the Xiaomi ecosystem that had crossed $3.16 billion in combined revenues. Most of these are focused on hardware that strengthen Xiaomi’s product portfolio. Some of them have achieved unicorn status too.

It now wants to turn its attention to the world’s fastest-growing startup ecosystem, India.

Last November, Xiaomi Founder-CEO Lei Jun announced that his firm would be pumping in $1 billion in Indian startups to create an ecosystem of apps around its devices. Xiaomi’s sister venture, Shunwei Capital, has already bought stakes in six Indian consumer internet firms in the sectors of digital content, fintech, hyperlocal services and more.

Jun had told the press:

“In China, in the past four years we’ve invested $4 billion in over 300 companies. In the next five years, we will invest in 100 companies in India. We will basically replicate the most successful ecosystem business model of China in India. We will have all types of services and products and integrate them. That is the Xiaomi business model.”

Xiaomi’s rise in India

Throughout 2017, Xiaomi went from strength to strength in the Indian smartphone market, closing the year with a 27-percent share, according to IDC estimates. Its offline expansion was worth noting, and it contributed significantly to Xiaomi’s overall sales.

Most recently, Xiaomi opened its first flagship experience store in Chennai and is retailing non-smartphone products — some of which are being showcased in India ahead of home market China. These include smart shoes and cookers, electric cycles, self-balancing scooters, folding electric bikes, gaming laptops, water purifiers, and so on.

Earlier this month, Xiaomi launched its first smart TV in the Indian market at an extremely competitive price, what it calls “honest pricing”. After smartphones, the Chinese manufacturer wants to disrupt India’s television market here. In fact, India is the first country outside China where Xiaomi is selling its television sets.

Xiaomi India MD Jain told PTI, “India is a very important market for us and within a very short time, we have been able to capture significant market share in the smartphone market. TV is a big category after smartphones for Xiaomi... Our aim is to make everything smart, internet-enabled and eventually run by a smartphone.”

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