After pumping capital in India’s fast-growing consumer Internet sector which includes Snapdeal, UrbanLadder, Bluestone, One97 Communications and CarDekho, It seems that Ratan Tata, Chairman emeritus of Tata Sons, the holding company of the $103 Bn-in-revenues Tata conglomerate has decided to make a mark in global startup ecosystem.
This time, Ratan Tata has invested an undisclosed amount in China’s largest smartphone maker, Xiaomi, making him the first Indian investor in the world’s most valued technology startup. Earlier in the last year, Xiaomi had raised $1.1 Bn.
“Xiaomi is one of the fastest-growing companies in the world. It has brought its innovative business model and high quality products to India with huge success,” Tata said in a statement. However, the statement also clarified that this is an investment in his personal capacity, not Tata Group.
Xiaomi is a mobile internet company, founded by Lei Jun in 2010, the company has become one of the leading tech firms in China. It is currently valued at over $45 Bn and has over 3000 employees. Xiaomi’s main portfolio of products includes: Xiaomi Phones,MIUI ROM, MiTalk(preeminent messaging application ) and MiBox (A smart set-top box for TV).
The startup has been funded by investors such as DST Global, GIC, Morningside Group, HOPU Investment Management company, QiMing venture Partners and Qualcomm Ventures.
Speaking on this development, Lei Jun, founder and CEO of Xiaomi, said, “Ratan Tata is one of the most well-respected business leaders in the world. An investment by him is an affirmation of the strategy we have undertaken in India so far. This is just the start of an exciting journey, and we are looking forward to bringing more products into India.”
It is to be noted that Lei Jun was in Mumbai and New Delhi over the past week where he met Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry and other top Indian business leaders, startups, customers and retail partners.
Xiaomi plans to bring more products to India — a market that will be its main focus in 2015 and where it wants to be No. 1 in five years — the same time it plans to take for attaining leadership in China.
Recently, the company has launched the Mi4i, Xiaomi’s first phone to debut outside China, in India. It claims that more than 225,000 customers have registered to buy the global flagship smartphone on Flipkart within two days.