First Xiaomi, Could Snapchat Be Next for Sovereign Wealth Funds?

Institutional investors are plowing money into mobile startups, eager to gain exposure in a growing world population becoming heavily reliant on mobile devices. China smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi raised just over US$ 1 billion in capital from investors that include, Hopu Investment Management Co., Singapore’s GIC Private Limited, Russian investment firm DST Global and Yunfeng Capital – a private equity firm affiliated with Alibaba Group chairman Jack Ma. The consortium investment in Xiaomi was led by Chinese financier Fang Fenglei who runs Hopu. The US$ 1 billion raise puts Xiaomi valued at US$ 45 billion, trumping most startups globally, even Uber, which is valued at US$ 41 billion.

Xiaomi is the world’s third largest smartphone maker. In fact, Xiaomi is selling around 100,000 units per week through e-commerce sites like Flipkart. Flipkart is backed by investors such as Singapore’s GIC Private Limited. In December, Xiaomi invested US$ 200 million in appliance maker Midea.


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