The Chinese smartphone startup, Xiaomi, has raised $1.1 billion from venture capitalists in the last four years. The company has been valued at $45 billion. The company’s co-founder, Bin Lin, made the news public on Facebook. Xiaomi has surpassed Uber for the fastest growing startup in the world, and is currently ranked 3rd among global smartphone producers. Xiaomi attributes its continued success to their lower-cost products.
In an industry where many of Xiaomi’s competitors are taking huge hits, the Chinese smartphone startup was able to take advantage of the opportunity in the market. Their current valuation is more than four times their valuation in 2013. The startup company has surpassed other smartphone makers, such as Samsung Motorola, and HTC.
Although the company has endured a vast amount of success in the early stages, there are still some foreseeable challenges. As Xiaomi continues to expand, they face intellectual property issues when entering developed markets. A smartphone producer based out of Sweden, Ericsson, has sued Xiaomi for copyright infringement, banning the sale of their product in India for a short-while. Apple’s design chief, Jony Ive, accused Xiaomi of being lazy and stealing the Apple design.
Xiaomi differs from Apple in their business plan. Whereas Apple makes their profit from selling high-cost products with exceptional margins, Xiaomi’s business goals cater to making small profits on each product shipment. Their margins, therefore, are much smaller, but the demand is greater due to the products low cost. Xiaomi’s goal is to have their phones in as many people’s hands as possible. After this, they can sell their software and apps to generate a greater opportunity for profit.
The startup company focuses their business mantra on creating the best user experience. Xiaomi’s most notable investors include DST Global, Yunfeng Capital, All-Stars Investments, and Hopu Investment Management.