Xiaomi now worth $45 billion after latest funding round
Xiaomi, the Chinese smartphone maker, has raised more than $1.1 billion in venture capital funding, giving it a valuation of $45 billion.
The founder and president of the company, Bin Lin, posted the news on Facebook on Monday.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Xiaomi’s current valuation makes it one of the most valuable startups, ahead of Uber’s valuation of slightly more than $40 billion.
Xiaomi has performed extremely well in its domestic market by selling low-cost devices, driving it to be the third largest global smartphone maker.
The company is now worth almost four times more than its valuation last year.
Investors in the financing include Yunfeng Capital, DST Global, All-Stars Investment, and Hopu Investment Management.
Xiaomi is facing challenges as it tries to expand
Although the company has managed to gain a significant chunk of smartphone market share (particularly in China) it is having a difficult time expanding into new markets because of intellectual property concerns.
Earlier this month Ericsson sued the company for infringing patents, which caused a sales ban in India. The ban has been temporarily lifted, however, the legal battle between Xiaomi and Ericsson continues.
Other competitors have criticized the similarities between their devices and Xiaomi’s. Jony Ive, Apple’s design chief, accused the company of design theft and laziness. However, Hugo Barra, the vice president of Xiaomi, was quick to point out that although Xiaomi designers have been inspired by other products, the company does not outright steal or copy designs.
Xiaomi has a range of more than 1,000 products that sell for such a low price that the company only generates a small amount of profit. The long term goal of the company is to have more people buy its handsets so that it can then offer more products, such as software and other services.
“We will strive to continue bringing innovation to everyone, with a goal of producing high-quality, high-performance devices with great user experience,” Lin said.