More Chinese investment for India’s startup ecosystem. World’s second most valued tech startup Xiaomi, has now announced plans to invest in Indian startups revolving around mobile apps and allied services, reports Economic Times.
It is also being said, that startups that are developing mobile services and applications are likely to get Xiaomi’s backing. The primary intention behind this investment is to integrate these services and apps into Xiaomi’s MIUI interface.
However, the company isn’t looking to invest in hardware-related startups, because of a reasoning that the hardware ecosystem in the country is still at an ‘early-stage’. However, one could also look into the fact, that Xiaomi would obviously not be keen in investing in hardware, which might become competitors for its own lineup of smartphones and smart devices.
Our investment in India mostly would be around mobile services and mobile apps because hardware ecosystem is in early stages. In China, our major investments are in hardware startups because the ecosystem is more developed there.
stated Hugo Barra, Vice President, Xiaomi Global to The Economic Times.
The former Google exec and current Xiaomi VP also mentioned that the company is already discussing its investments with prospective startups, so as to nurture the development of the idea and integrate it into MIUI.
“We have talked with quite a few startups in India, and liked a few. We want to work with companies that have built services that could integrate with our MIUI. We are looking for synergies,” he said.
The investments are likely to come-off once the smartphone maker finalizes on the start-ups that can provide it with better services and apps than those that already exist in the market, specially for its MIUI mobile OS.
This is the first time that the Chinese homegrown upstart has expressed its interest in the Indian start-up ecosystem. On the other hand the company is known to fund millions into budding companies that are here to make a difference. iQiyi, was one such company that recently received a sum of $300 million form Xiaomi, which seems to put its belief in the online video service platform. Back home, Xiaomi also made sure that Youku Tudou, a video streaming platform isn’t short of funds for the long run.
Putting its faith into the ‘Make in India’ initiative, Xiaomi had earlier partnered with the world largest contract manufacturer, Foxconn to kick start its assembly line for its own smartphones in the country. The product of which was the new Redmi 2 Prime, which was launched as Xiaomi’s first Made in India smartphone.
Agreeing to the point that establishing a new network in a country that has the foothold of industry leaders like Flipkart, InMobi and others would be an uphill task, the company added that it is searching patiently for the best talent, rather than hurrying to set up a new team.
India remains Xiaomi’s most profitable market outside China. Its budget range of smatphones have been rather well recieved in the country. Xiaomi’s largest revenue generator continues to be its home turf, China where it ousted the likes of Apple and Samsung in 2014 to become the number one smartphone maker. That crown though, was more recently taken over by Apple, thanks to blockbuster sales of its iPhone 6 and 6 plus handsets in China.
Due to the close similarity between the Indian and Chinese markets and the relatively matched user preferences, Xiaomi has been steadily establishing its network in the country. Its plans to invest in Indian startups could most certainly be, one of the effects of that steady growth.