According to two informed sources, Xiaomi, a Chinese smart phone and electronic product brand, is in negotiations with financial technology startup Zest-Money on the injection of funds. Xiaomi has partnered with the company to provide EMI loans (installment loans) for its products on Mi.com, an online portal.
According to a third person familiar with the matter, Zest-Money is currently negotiating financing and intends to raise a total of about $20 million in funds. The start-up company’s existing investors such as payment company PayU will also participate in this round of financing.
The person familiar with the matter said that the two companies had negotiated an investment. The investment will promote further integration between the parties to promote the sale of goods on Mi.com's website.
This will be Xiaomi's second investment in the financial technology field. Xiaomi used to invest in Krazybee, a start-up company specializing in student loans, last year. In October last year, Xiaomi and Shunwei Capital, the venture capital firm founded by Xiao Jun founder Lei Jun, led a $8 million investment in Krazybee, which is based in Bangalore.
Raghu Reddy, Xiaomi’s online sales manager, said that many of the company’s investments are primarily in line with Xiaomi’s initiatives to promote sales and user experience. He did not comment on the negotiations between Xiaomi and Zest-Money. Zest-Money declined to comment.
Laidi said: "We will focus on those companies that complement our business, companies that provide payment capabilities and payment solutions, or companies that provide excellent content that can be part of our equipment." For example, in terms of content, we invested in Hungama. ”
Xiaomi took the lead in investing US$25 million in online entertainment company Hungama Digital Media Entertainment in 2016, mainly to launch local content on its devices.
According to industry insiders, Zest-Money and Krazybee are investing primarily to promote device sales on the Mi.com website by providing payment capabilities. At the end of last year, Xiaomi began working with Zest-Money on the Mi.com website to provide its customers with a card-less installment loan service.
Zest-Money partners with e-commerce companies such as Amazon, Flipkart, MakeMyTrip and other companies such as Cuemath and UpGrad to provide installment loan services for a range of commodities. It has already raised a certain amount of funds from investors such as Ribbit Capital and PayU.
Ladi said that Krazybee was invested to help young customers, even those under the age of 20, so that they can get the payment ability provided by Krazybee. Laidi said: "Most of our customers are under the age of 35. Many rice flours are college students." We are considering integrating Krazybee's loan service into the website. "However, he did not disclose more details.
According to a recent report released by Counterpoint Research, Xiaomi is not only the market leader in smart phone brands in terms of network shipments, Mi.com has also become the third largest e-commerce website for smart phones after Flipkart and Amazon. . The site’s market share in network smartphone shipments is 10%.
Xiaomi currently sells five types of products in India, including mobile gadgets such as smartphones, TVs, air purifiers, and mobile power, as well as some smaller categories. After the launch of offline stores in recent years, the sales contribution of Xiaomi’s offline channels has reached 30%.
Laidi said that Xiaomi will increase the number of offline stores from the current 30 to 100 by the end of this year. He said that the company will continue to actively sell products through platforms such as Flipkart, Amazon, Paytm Mall and Tata Cliq to fully explore the potential of distribution channels.