Saturday, November 1, 2014

Xiaomi Becames World's Third Biggest Smartphone Company

China's Xiaomi Inc has become the world's third-largest smartphone vendor just three years after first hitting the market, trailing only Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Apple Inc, according to a new industry study.

Xiaomi is exploring the option of raising funding that could value the company at more than $40 billion.

Multiple sources confirmed that Xiaomi is considering raising more money and possibly quadrupling its previous valuation of $10 billion, which it attained after an undisclosed amount of funding in August of last year. Prior to that Xiaomi had raised $216 million in June 2014 at $4 billion.

Strategy Analytics said Xiaomi accounted for 6 percent of all 320 million smartphones shipped during July-September. Samsung made up 25 percent, down from 35 percent a year earlier due to rising competition from several directions.

Apple's share also fell slightly to 12 percent.

"Xiaomi was the star performer," Strategy Analytics Executive Director Neil Mawston said in a statement.

"Samsung continues to face tough competition from Apple at the higher-end of the smartphone market, from Xiaomi and Huawei in the middle-tiers, and from Lenovo and others at the entry-level."

Xiaomi has been the top seller in its home market of China and recently entered India, where it sells phones exclusively through e-commerce site Flipkart.

Vice President Hugo Barra told Reuters in Bangalore last month that the company aimed to sell 100,000 phones a week in India in October when the country celebrates Diwali.

Xiaoning invested last year an undisclosed amount in Israeli gesture control start-up Pebbels Interfaces. 

Xiaomi reported sales in the first half of 2014 to be about $5.31 billion–up about 150% from last year—and those inside the company expect revenue to be more than $11 billion for the whole year. At a potential valuation of $40 billion, Xiaomi, which does not discuss profits but is reported to be profitable, would be trading at a little under four times projected 2014 revenues. Apple has a current price-to-sales ratio of 3.7.

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