Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp. has made its first investment in India by leading a $25 million (around Rs. 166 crore) investment in Hungama Digital Media Entertainment, a music and video streaming service provider. Existing investors Intel Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners and Indian billionaire Rakesh Jhunjhunwala also took part in the round of funding.
Xiaomi entered India in 2014 by releasing the Redmi 1s, and has since launched several devices, including the Redmi Note 3 and the Mi 5, but this is the first time it has invested in an Indian company. The Chinese smartphone manufacturer is now planning to start integrating content into its smartphones
"Xiaomi has been an internet company from the very start. We think of smartphones as a platform for us to deliver Internet services, and this includes content. As our user base in India grows and as 4G penetration in India continues picking up, we will start to see more and more consumption of digital media through Xiaomi devices," said Hugo Barra, vice president, Xiaomi, in a statement obtained by Gadget NDTV.
He added that the company is "investing in Hungama not only to start integrating content into our smartphones, but also to grow together with them and deepen our understanding of the content sector in India."
"With this investment, we intend to further strengthen our movie and TV services and in fact, Hungama Play will shortly add 1500 hours of TV content in Indian languages and English," said Neeraj Roy, founder and CEO, Hungama.