Major Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi led a USD 25 million round of financing for Indian online music and movie provider Hungama on Monday. This was Xiaomi’s first investment in India.
“With this investment, we intend to further strengthen our movie and TV services,” Hungama CEO Neeraj Roy said in a statement on Monday.
About 1,500 hours of TV content in Hindi and English will soon be added into Hungama Play, he added.
Hungama claims to have 65 million monthly active users (MAUs) and 8,000 movies in Hindi in its movie library. The Indian company’s former investors also took part in this round, including Intel Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners and Indian billionaire Rakesh Jhunjhunwala.
Although this is Xiaomi’s first investment in India, it is not the company’s first move in the country. Xiaomi has been selling smartphones in the Indian market since 2014, and it has long said that it would invest in startups in India.
According to a report by American market research firm IDC in January, Xiaomi was the world’s fifth largest smartphone vendor with 70.8 million shipments in 2015.
Another American market research firm Gartner released a report last Saturday, saying despite the global smartphone market slowing to single-digit growth in 2016, India will achieve an increase of 29%. There are currently only 220 million smartphone users in India, while the total population there exceeds 1.2 billion.
“Xiaomi has been an Internet company from the very start. We think of smartphones as a platform for us to deliver Internet services, and this includes content,” said Hugo Barra, Vice President of Xiaomi Global, in a statement on Monday.
“We are investing in Hungama not only to start integrating content into our smartphones, but also to grow together with them and deepen our understanding of the content sector in India.”
Xiaomi confirmed its investment in India to AllChinaTech on Tuesday without further comment.
(Top photo from n-s-songs.blogspot.com)