Xiaomi has made its first investment in an Indian company by leading a round of $25 million funding for Hungama Digital Media Entertainment. Other participants in the round include existing investors Intel Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners, and Rakesh Jhunjhunwala.
Xiaomi’s investment in India can be seen as part of the company’s larger strategy to introduce local entertainment content, services on its smartphones in India. Xiaomi, which entered India in July 2014, had a relatively quite 2015 in the country. However 2016 has seen the company make a slew of announcements for India, noticeably the launch of the Redmi Note 3 and Mi 5 smartphone.
The company’s global VP Hugo Barra had earlier said that the Mi India story was not over, and that they remained committed to the market. Xiaomi has invested, acquire other start-ups in China and abroad as well; Segway the maker of Ninebot is now a part of Xiaomi.
Xiaomi also claims that 75 per cent of its smartphones sold in India are made in India.
“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. As our user base in India grows and as 4G penetration in India continues picking up, we will start to see more and more consumption of digital media through Xiaomi devices,” said Hugo Barra, Vice President, Xiaomi in a press statement.
“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. We have carefully selected Hungama because of what they are doing in terms of aggregating large amounts of content and delivering an amazing user experience,” he added.
Hungama claims to have over 65 million monthly active consumers across platforms for its music, video and movie services.
““We are very excited to be partnering with Xiaomi, as we are extremely aligned in the way we see digital media becoming mainstream on mobile devices. Xiaomi has a very engaged community of fans, which we believe will benefit from the fabulous and immense repertoire from Hungama’s content services. With this investment, we intend to further strengthen our movie and TV services and in fact, Hungama Play will shortly add 1500 hours of TV content in Indian languages and English,” said Neeraj Roy, Founder and CEO, Hungama.
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