After causing ripples in the budget smartphone segment, Chinese tech giant Xiaomi has recently been laying much emphasis on the Internet of Things(IoT) platfrom i.e smart home products. Now, with the addition of a sleek new air purifier to its catalogue, the company is taking a step towards creating an ecosystem in India. And the next step towards fueling that initiative is to bring its crowdfunding platform to the country.
The crowdfunding platform is currently up and running in China and has successfully funded products including the likes of a wicked transformer tablet, a waterproof jacket and much more. It helps consumer and home tech startups — not related to Xiaomi — to raise funds by selling their products through the ‘Mi Home’ app.
By debuting the crowdfunding service in India, the company plans to provide local startups with a platform where they’ll be able to raise funds for consumer electronics they intend to create.
Yesterday, at the launch event of the first smart home product for India — Mi Air Purifier 2, Vice President Hugo Barra commented on the same, saying,
This is the beginning of the smart home strategy for India, something we have been focused on in China for a long time. We are open to bringing in the [crowdfunding] programme. But we will have to change certain things before we can launch in India.
This goes back to our philosophy – to make innovation available to everyone. That means cool products, manufactured at a very large scale and made affordable.
Though Barra says that the company might need to make some changes to the programme before launching it in India, but it more likely to be similar to that in China. The customers using the Mi Home app will be able to book the products by paying for them upfront, thus adding to the crowdfund of the startup.
He is, however, already weary of the different regulatory challenges of bringing the platform to the country — where getting regulatory clearance for electronic products takes three to six months.
Consumers pay the money in advance and it wouldn’t be fair if they had to wait for such a long time before they get the product delivered. We will have to figure out these challenges before we can bring the programme here,
The crowdfunding platform, if launched, could not only prove to be a much needed boost for hardware tech startups in India, but can also be extremely helpful for those hestitant of development due to lack of initial funds. Xiaomi has already helped over 55 startups that work on connected devices, ranging from vacuum cleaners to smart rice cookers. All these products are currently available through the Mi Home app in China.
Extending the Mi Ecosystem beyond smartphones and wearbles, Xiaomi has yesterday revealed its smart and stylish-looking air purifier in India. The Mi Air Purifier can be regarded as a compact yet powerful big brother to the first generation purifier and will retail at ₹9,999. The company has, yesterday, also launched the second-gen. of its Mi Band fitness band, the Mi Band 2 for ₹1,999.