Handset manufacturer Lava Mobiles is aiming to raise $100 million from strategic partners to fund its expansion in the country.
On the sidelines of the Make in India Week, Company's Chairman and Managing Director Hari Om Rai said that the company is looking to dilute its equity to strategic partners; the company is aiming to raise $100 million and will take around six-eight months to finalise.
He said that the company is already in talks with a couple of strategic investors, including foreign companies interested in investing in the country.
Rai, did not disclose any details regarding the valuations which the company, founded in 2009, is expecting. He further added that the entire equity was currently held by founders and employees. Speaking about venture capital firms, he added that company focus is on software rather than hardware.
Rai said that finance is one of the challenges. There is a lot of traction on the software side of things among the VCs and PEs. But on the hardware side, the traction is a little less. People believe that it is a commodity market, but Rai believed it is not so. As per him, India has a great chance.
The company has prepared a plan to increase its overall capacity to 200 million units in the next seven-10 years, which will entail an investment of Rs 2,615 crore, of which Rs 500 crore will be invested over the next two years.
At present, the company has a plant in Noida with a capacity of 28 million phones a year, which it plans to double over the next 3-6 months. It has also bought a land parcel in Tirupati and is scouting for locations to set up units in Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra..
Rai said that the capacity ramp up is part of its strategy to decrease dependence on China for manufacturing of phones and shift those jobs to India. He further added that the number of employees at its manufacturing facilities will almost double to 8,000 in a year as more capacity gets created. Apart from serving the large domestic demand, Lava is also looking to export phones to markets like Africa and Indonesia.