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Cellphone maker Xiaomi reportedly raises $1 billion

The company, which is the largest phone manufacturer in China, is now valued at $45 billion

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
December 22, 2014
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/3b03

Apparently the cellphone-making business is a good one to be in right now, as Xiaomi has just raised a huge new funding round.

The Chinese smartphone maker is now $1 billion richer, according to a report out from the Wall Street Journal this weekend.

The round is being led by All-Stars Investment, with Russian investment firm DST Global and Singapore sovereign-wealth fund GIC, which are both already investors in the company, as well as Yunfeng Capital and Alibaba's Jack Ma also participating. The round is expected to officially close on Monday. 

Xiaomi has already raised at least $347 million, last raising an undisclosed amount of funding, at a $10 billion valuation, in August of 2013. With this latest round, the company is now reportedly valued at a whopping $45 billion, growing by more than four times in just the last year and change. That also makes it more valuable than Uber, which just raised $1.2 billion to be valued at $40 billion.

Founded in 2010 by serial entrepreneur Lei Jun, Xiaomi is currently the top-selling smartphone vendor in China, which accounted for 37% of global shipments, roughly 108.5 million units, in the second quarter of this year, according to research firm Canalys. During that quarter, Xiaomi had a 14% share in China, growing 240% year-to-year, becoming larger than Samsung for the first time. In just a short time, it has gone from marginal player to main player in a very important market.

Xiaomi will face a big test, though, when it expands beyond China and, as the Journal points out, it may be difficult for the company to succeed on a global scale. 14% of 108.5 million units is 15.19 million. In thesecond quarter of this year, Apple sold over 32 million units globally, while Samsung sold over 74 million. Xiaomi came in fifth place overall, just behind Lenovo and Huawei, and beating out LG, but it has a long way to go before it can compete against the big two in the space. 

There is also come confusion over just how much money the company is making. The company has not decided to disclose any earnings, but a November report  from the Wall Street Journal pegged its revenue at 3.46 billion Yuan, or $566 million, in 2013.

A regulatory filing, however, showed that Xiaomi Inc., one of the Chinese entities within Xiaomi, posted a net profit of 347 million Yuan, or $56 million, in 2013. That seems to be because Xiaomi Inc is a subsidiary of the larger company, not the company itself, according to what the company told TechCrunch

VatorNews has reached out to Xiaomi for confirmation of these reports, but the company was unavailable for comment at this time. We will update this story if we learn more. 

(Image source: mi.com)