Xiaomi Corp has become the most valuable technology start up in the world, with a recent investment raising its value to over $46billion. Xiaomi founder, Lei Jun, confirmed the investment on his Chinese blog page on Monday, writing that ‘This round of funding is an affirmation of Xiaomi’s achievements in more than four years of business and a prelude to a new stage of development’. The investors list includes Russian investment firm DST Global, All-Stars Investment Ltd and Yunfeng Capital – which is a private equity firm affiliated with Executive Chairman Jack Ma of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.
Hans Tung, Managing Director of GGV Capital, was an early investor in Xiaomi and recalls his very first meeting with Mr. Lei in the lobby of a Bejjing hotel. Mr.Lei’s pitch was to become the Apple of Asia; he intended to imitate their strategy to bring apps, software and hardware together – and it looks like his confidence was well placed.
Xiaomi is expected to sell 60 million smartphones globally in 2014, compared to an 18.7 million figure the previous year. After its takeover of Samsung Electronics in the second quarter of this year, it became the largest smartphone vendor by shipments in China.
It will be interesting to see what 2015 brings for the Chinese tech giant!
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