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China’s Xiaomi Eyes Bollywood With Latest Investment

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi recently led the investments of USD25 million in Hungama Digital Media Entertainment, an online music and video provider in India, as it aims to attract more users in the fast-growing Indian market.

Hugo Barra, Xiaomi's vice president of global operation, said that India is a fast-growing strategic market for Xiaomi and it is time for the company to provide services in this marketplace. Xiaomi will start integrating Hungama's contents into its products, covering themes and ringtones.

As the world's fifth largest smartphone maker, Xiaomi is competing with Samsung, Apple and other manufacturers for device sales in India. Statistics from market research firm Gartner showed that although the global smartphone market would not be able to realize a double-digit increase in 2016, India's smartphone sales would still increase by 29%. At the same time, as a country with 1.2 billion populations, India only has about 220 million smartphone users.

Barra revealed that Xiaomi's investment in Hungama is quite large. In addition, Hungama's existing investors, including Intel Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners, and Indian billionaire Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, participated in this round of financing.

Neeraj Roy, founder and chief executive officer of Hungama, said that with the new investments, they plan to further enhance their movie and TV services. To this end, Hungama Play will soon add 1,500 hours of Hindi and English TV content.

Hungama currently has about 8,000 Hindi movies; and its music, video and movie platforms have over 65 million monthly active users.



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