As we briefly mentioned a little earlier, Xiaomi has just officially rounded-off its latest round of fundraising, where the company generated $1.1 billion with of additional investment. This gives Xiaomi a valuation worth $46 billion, matching original estimates and making the Chinese manufacturer the most valuable technology startup around.
The latest investors to back the rapidly growing company are All-Stars Investment, Russian firm DST Global, Singapore sovereign-wealth fund GIC, Hopu Fund, and Yunfeng Capital. Only Facebook has managed to obtain a higher valuation. During an investment round back in 2011 the social network was valued at $50 billion. Xiaomi appears to be worth more than Uber, the taxi booking app, AirBnB, or Dropbox.
The recipe for Xiaomi’s rise to success has been well documented. The company’s low cost, high-end products and extended software line-up has given Xiaomi a huge advantage over its competitors, resulting in its rapid rise to the top of China’s booming smartphone market.
The company has come a long way since its inception in 2010. Its first Mi1 smartphone was launched in 2011, but it wasn’t until the arrival and excellent reception of the Mi3 in late 2013 and its RedMi Note in early 2014 that the company began seeing its market share boom. Xiaomi continued to strengthen its smartphone line-up with the Mi4 and has risen to one of the global markets most influential players in a little over a year, at a time when many familiar smartphone brands have barely managed to hold shipments steady.2014 has also seen the company begin to expand outside of China, starting with Singapore back in February, followed by Malaysia, the Philippines and now India appears next on the list. As a result, Xiaomi’s global smartphone shipments are expected to reach 60 million units come the end of this year, up from 18.7 million last year. Xiaomi has also confirmed that there were 85 million active MIUI users as of last month and that downloads from its app store had reached 10 billion in November, a 10 fold increase over the previous year.
This year Xiaomi’s product portfolio has grown from a handful of mobile products to a range of consumer electronics, accessories and spin-off products. This latest round of financial backing comes as Xiaomi has announced its intentions to expand its TV media streaming services and branch out into the fast growing South Asian smartphone market in 2015.
This substantial valuation and recent batch of investments signals clear belief in Xiaomi’s controversial low-cost business model. 2015 is going to be another important year for the company, whether or not it can live up to these lofty expectations remains to be seen.