A Xiaomi smartphone looks like an increasingly safe bet for your next ereading device: the Chinese smartphone manufacturer has just scored $1 billion in a fundraising round that values the entire company at $45 billion, according to a source quoted by the Wall Street Journal. Participants in the fundraising round included All-Stars Investment, Russian investment firm DST Global and Singaporean sovereign wealth fund the Government Investment Corporation of Singapore (GIC), according to the WSJ.
Already cited by Gartner as China’s Number One smartphone brand, with 336 percent growth in end user sales in the third quarter of 2014 alone, Xiaomi is already being valued far above the market cap of HTC, to name one well-known competitor, which had a mid-2013 market cap of $6.56 billion, or ZTE Corp., with a market cap of RMB 61.5 billion ($9.9 billion). The disparity of that valuation with other peers suggests some very greedy venture capitalists rather than genuine business value in a company only four years old, but it does also indicate the great expectations around Xiaomi. One Forbes report just before the investment points to some serious concerns over the company, with patent disputes in markets outside China and competition from other Chinese brands, including established players like Huawei. However, the capital raise may help Xiaomi solve some of these issues and consolidate its competition, even if the company still has a long haul ahead before it grows into that $45 billion forward valuation.