It has just been announced by Lei Jun, founder and CEO of the disruptive startup phone-maker Xiaomi, that the company has secured a staggering $216 million in third-round funding. The financing was agreed to over the weekend, he said, but would not reveal who led this newest funding round.
This confirms earlier rumors we reported upon which suggested a major round of funding that effectively values the company at $4 billion. Yes, that would efectively make the Chinese startup – which so far has only one phone model, the Android-based M1 (see our video review) – worth about half of Nokia, and nearly as much as the troubled RIM. That earlier rumor suggested that DST was leading the funding this time, but we’ll have to wait for that to be confirmed. Yuri Milner’s DST was a more minor participant in the last funding round.
In the past, IDG and Morningside have led the series A and B rounds. The first was worth $41 million, while the second round totaled $90 million.
Lei Jun also revealed today some interesting stats from Xiaomi, saying that it has sold
70 million Xiaomi phones up to the end of 700,000 phones last month alone, and that it has so far generated over a billion RMB ($157.11 million) in revenue, making profits that amount to just over 100 million RMB ($15.71 million). The company is due to unveil its much-anticipated follow-up to the M1 sometime this summer or autumn.
As for the path forward, Mr. Lei told Chinese media that, “Copying Apple is no way to go,” and suggested that mobile commerce is one path that the company is looking into.
We’ll update if we get more on this developing story – especially if the investors are named.
[Source: Sina Tech - article in Chinese]