Smartphone Maker Xiaomi Is Now World’s Top Tech Startup

Hong Kong-based Xiaomi, the fast-rising Chinese smartphone maker, has distinguished itself as the worldEUs most valuable tech startup after it netted $1.1 billion in its latest round of fundraising, the companyEUs founder and CEO Lei Jun said Monday.

The round swelled XiaomiEUs value to $45 billion, Lei said on Weibo, ChinaEUs Twitter-like messaging service. Last year, Xiaomi claimed the top position in ChinaEUs smartphone market, the worldEUs largest. Now it is worth much more than household technology names like Sony or Nokia, and nearly as much as Yahoo.

After taking hold of the Chinese smartphone market with low-cost phones based on the Android mobile operating system, Xiaomi is now the worldEUs third-largest smartphone manufacturer. According to a recent report from Gartner, Xiaomi sold 16 million units in the third quarter of 2014, up from 3.6 million in the same quarter last year.

Making Up Ground

Four-year-old Xiaomi has overtaken both Samsung and Apple in China by offering cheap, high-quality phones through online marketing campaigns that appeal to ChinaEUs young and affluent consumers. Around 500 million smartphones are expected to be sold in China in 2015, more than three times as many as will be sold in the United States, according to IDC.

XiaomiEUs latest round of fund-raising includes investments from All-Stars Investment, an investment fund run by Richard Weidong Ji, a former Morgan Stanley analyst. Other investors include GIC, SingaporeEUs sovereign investment corporation; Hopu Investment Management, one of ChinaEUs biggest private equity groups; DST Global, a fund run by the Russian billionaire Yuri Milner and an early investor in Facebook; and Yunfeng Capital, another Chinese private equity company set up by Jack Ma, who founded e-commerce company the Alibaba Group.

Earlier this month, a regulatory filing from Xiaomi showed that it earned the equivalent of $56 million in 2013. That figure reflected only a fraction of...

Comments are closed.