There have been reports earlier about Chinese smartphone major Xiaomi’s plans to make investments in Indian startups going beyond its main business of making and selling mobile phones and other electronic devices.
The latest target is ZestMoney, a fintech startup. The report states that ZestMoney is involved in talks with other investors also in addition to Xiaomi and the funding to be raised in this round is $20 million. Existing investor PayU is also part of these ongoing discussions.
There is an underlying objective of finding some kind of synergy or rub-off with the main business of Xiaomi. Reports are quick to point out their taking a position in Hungama, which will bring in more local content to their phones. In the case of ZestMoney, it offers buyers of Xiaomi phones on Mi.Com or other online retail sites, easy EMIs. This association could now get strengthened if the funding proposal also goes through.
ZestMoney uses technology to service its customers who log on to its site to avail loans and advances. It makes real-time decisions on the eligibility of the applicants and approve the loans. In the 3 years of its existence, ZestMoney has raised a total of $8.5 million, including seed funding.
Xiaomi has revealed its plans to invest in 100 Indian startups, for which it has kept aside a treasure trove of $1 billion. This amount would get invested over the next 5 years.
Xiaomi has ambitious business plan for India treating it as the second largest market for its products after its home country China. And in terms of the product portfolio also, the company is slowly adding to its range starting with televisions and on the anvil are smartwatches, air purifiers and so on.
Laptops, gaming consoles and computer accessories will follow.
On the other hand, the Indian fintech startup scene is said to register impressive growth in the coming years if one went by the report by the software industry body NASSCOM. The Indian software fintech business is expected to touch $2.4 billion by 2020, double the business being currently clocked. The funding proposals for the sector are also showing a corresponding growth.