Chinese smartphone major Xiaomi has announced that it will invest Rs 6,000 – Rs 7,000 crore in around 100 Indian tech startups over the next five years to strengthen its hardware and software ecosystem.
The announcement comes after a November 2017 interview in which Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun had said that Xiaomi will be looking to invest $1 billion in 100 startups in India over the next five years.
"Till 2017, the net investment of the company was Rs 3,000 crore. In the next five years, we will invest Rs 6,000 crore to Rs 7,000 crore in around 100 startups in India," Manu Jain, Managing Director, and Vice-president, Xiaomi India said Monday, March 26, PTI reported.
The company is looking towards investing the money in tech startups which are concentrating on the mobile software business. The investment will help Xiaomi to source software and hardware assistance, which will help in creating apps for its smartphones and upcoming products.
Xiaomi along with its sister company Shunwei Capital started investing in the content, FinTech and hyperlocal startup sectors in India last year. It had invested in six internet startups including Hungama and Krazybee with an idea of creating an ecosystem of apps around the brand.
The company has since dethroned Samsung to become the No.1 smartphone brand in India and is confident that its position in the Indian market will only continue to grow in 2018 and that the new investment will help it further strengthen its ecosystem.
The investment size makes Xiaomi one of the largest investors in India along with other investment giants such as SoftBank, Alibaba, Tencent etc.
However, Xiaomi's main focus will be on startups that will help develop the app ecosystem for its smartphones and thereby increase the adoption of its smartphones.
Meanwhile, Xiaomi is also trying to look beyond smartphones in India. The company recently launched the Mi TV 4 and Mi TV 4A smart TV series in India and is planning to bring a lot of the products that it currently sells in China to India in the coming days.
Xiaomi plans to bring a lot of its "ecosystem products" to India which is connected to the Xiaomi ecosystem through the internet and can be controlled with a smartphone. The products include an electric cycle, a self-balancing scooter, electric folding bike, smart shoes, smart cookers, laptops and Xiaomi branded water purifiers.
Xiaomi believes that India is a very important market for the company. In the last quarter of 2017, Xiaomi took a 27 percent share of the Indian smartphone market and became the leader, and with the recently launched MI TV series, Xiaomi is now looking to capture the Indian TV market too.
The company is also betting big on the 'Make in India' campaign and hopes to manufacture everything in India in the future. Currently, Xiaomi only assembles its smartphones and power banks in its four manufacturing units in the country.