Mon, Dec 22, 2014 - Page 13 News List

Xiaomi initiates new round of funding

AFP, BEIJING

Top Chinese smartphone seller Xiaomi Corp (小米) is raising more than US$1 billion in a fresh round of funding, a move which would raise its valuation to more than US$45 billion, a report said yesterday.

Dow Jones Newswires, citing a person familiar with the issue, said the latest round of funding could close as soon as today.

It was being led by tech investment fund All-Stars Investment.

Russian investment firm DST Global and Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Government of Singapore Investment Corp (GIC), both current shareholders, were also involved, the report said.

Private-equity firm Yunfeng Capital (雲峰基金), which is affiliated with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (阿里巴巴集團) chairman Jack Ma (馬雲), is also taking part.

Established just four years ago, Xiaomi was valued at US$10 billion in a previous round of funding in August last year.

A company spokesman declined to comment, the report said.

China is the world’s largest smartphone market, and Xiaomi’s cheap, feature-packed handsets ousted Samsung Electronics Co as the top seller there in the second quarter, according to research firm Canalys.

The company ranked third in global smartphone shipments during the third quarter, with 5.6 percent of market share, trailing only Samsung and Apple Inc, Strategy Analytics reported in October.

Xiaomi founder and chief executive officer Lei Jun (雷軍) has set a goal of passing Samsung and Apple in the global smartphone market within a decade.

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