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Xiaomi to raise $1.5 billion in latest funding drive: Report

PTI 10 Nov 2014, 10:36:43 AM IST

New Delhi: Xiaomi is planning to raise about $1.5 billion in its fifth round of financing, media reports said.

The company, which has dominated China's smartphone market, is talking to investors and banks to roughly raise about $1.5 billion (roughly Rs. 9,200 crores), which would be the largest investment (excluding IPO) raised by any Chinese company backed by venture capital, financial news website Jiemian of the Shanghai United Media Group reported.

Xiaomi shipped roughly 18 million smartphones in the third quarter, an increase of 18 percent from the previous quarter.

For the first nine months, Xiaomi, which means 'millet' in Chinese, shipped a total of 44 million units, Xiaomi founder and CEO Lei Jun said.

Xiaomi, currently the world's third-largest smartphone maker after Samsung and Apple, will use $1 billion (roughly Rs. 6,100 crores) to expand its own TV content for which they have hired Chen Tong, former editor-in-chief of popular news portal Sina.com, to revamp its Internet video business, Xinhua news agency reported.

One of the investors is said to be DST Global, a London-based investment firm that focuses on Internet companies, Jiemian reported.

"Xiaomi, one of the large Chinese technology companies, valued at $50 billion (roughly Rs. 3,07,350 crores) would tap the IPO market next year,"

Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported.

The company is seen by investors as the most likely candidate to become the next "Chinese IT legend" after Alibaba, which completed a $25 billion (roughly Rs. 1,53,000 crores) IPO in the United States in September.

According to International Data Corporation, Xiaomi's global market share stood at 5.3 percent, following Samsung's 23.8 percent and Apple's 12 percent in the third quarter of this year, bringing it on number 3 position onto the list of top 5 manufacturers for the first time.

Xiaomi was founded in April 2010 by Lei and his friends in Zhongguancun, Beijing's technology hub, which has been called China's Silicon Valley. Its first smartphone debuted on August 16, 2011.