Ratan Tata picks up a stake in Xiaomi

Following his investments in Indian online startups, Ratan Tata has now invested in Beijing-based smartphone maker Xiaomi.
Ratan Tata picks up a stake in Xiaomi

Ratan Tata, ex Chairman, Tata Group, has become the first Indian to buy a stake in Xiaomi, China's largest smartphone maker.

"Tata is one of the most well-respected business leaders in the world. An investment by him is an affirmation of the strategy we have undertaken in India so far. This is just the start of an exciting journey," said Lei Jun, Founder and CEO, Xiaomi.

According to TOI, Xiaomi would seek Tata's advice on how to expand to international markets and become the number one phonemaker in the country in the next three years.

In China, Xiaomi sold around 95% of its 65 million phones last apart from becoming the fifth largest smartphone vendor in India since entering the market in July 2014.

“India is the most important market for Xiaomi after China and I would want our international business to grow to half of our total business in the long-term” added Jun.

Tata has so far invested in startups like Snapdeal, Urban Ladder, Bluestone and Cardekho. In March, he picked up a stake in mobile commerce firm Paytm as well. 

"We are open to further rounds of funding. Investors such as Ratan Tata would help give us direction. His role as mentor would be invaluable," said Manu Jain, head of Xiaomi India.

In December last year, Xiaomi raised funds worth Rs $1.1 billion from investors including Russian investment firm DST Global, Singapore sovereign-wealth fund GIC Pte and Yunfeng Capital, a PE company associated with the Alibaba Group.

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