Bangalore: Ratan Tata, a former chairman emeritus of the holding company of India’s Tata conglomerate, invests an undisclosed amount in China’s biggest Smartphone maker, Xiaomi Technology, which raised $1.1 billion last year. A deal is expected to bolster the Chinese phone maker’s Indian expansion plans.
Founded in 2010 by Lei Jun, Xiaomi is a China’s electronics company headquartered in Beijing, China. The No.3 Smartphone maker is valued at $45 billion, after raising a new round of funding in December. The firm recently entered into the Indian market by introducing its first ‘made for India’ handset Mi4i in a debut outside China in Indian Capital New Delhi, which priced at Rs.12,999.
The startup, Xiaomi has raised its six rounds of funding from investors, namely DST Global, All-Stars Investment, Morningside Group, Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC, Qiming Venture Partners, HOPU Investment Management Company and Qualcomm Ventures. The company overtook Samsung in its home market last year to be a leader as it has 4 percent share in India.
Lei Jun, founder and CEO of Xiaomi, says “India market is our biggest target outside China and our goal is to become leader in the impending years, Mr Ratan Tata is one of the most well respected business leader in the world. An investment by him is an affirmation of the strategy we have undertaken in India so far.”
A respected industry leader, Ratan Tata, who has retired as a chairman of Tata Sons in 2012, has been creating his own portfolio betting on the Indian startups mainly e-Commerce firms. It has previously invested in Indian start-ups of e-Commerce are online retailer Snapdeal, Urbanladder, Bluestone, SwasthIndia, CarDekho.com and mobile payment platform Paytm. Recently, he also entered into Bangalore based VC firm Kalarri Capital as an advisor and also backed a new NBFC of Grameen Capital.