Xiaomi Reportedly Aiming for a $50 Billion IPO in 2018
Xiaomi, the Beijing, China-based smartphone brand that’s among the world’s most popular, has grand ambitions. The smartphone company’s planning an initial public offering sometime next year, according to a Bloomberg report, as it prepares to ship 100 million phones by 2019.
The report, citing “people familiar with the matter,” states that Xiaomi is in talks with a number of Hong Kong investment banks for a valuation of around $50 billion in 2018, which could bring it at least $5 billion. But it hasn’t been smooth sailing — there are concerns about whether the company can reach the $50 billion level, according to Bloomberg, much less the $100 billion some of its executives are reportedly targeting.
During its last funding round in 2014, Xiaomi raised $46 billion. But in the first quarter of last year, fierce competition from Oppo, Vivo, and Apple saw it fall to fifth place in Chinese phone shipments, according to analytics firm IDC.
But business is on an upswing as the company makes gains in Russia, Indonesia, and other developing markets around the world. In India, where Xioami’s pledged to invest $500 million over the next three to five years, it’s on the cusp of beating Samsung for the top spot. That’s thanks to a major focus on brick-and-mortar stores — the smartphone maker plans to build 1,000 Mi Home stores by 2019, and is targeting $10 billion in retail sales by 2021.
One recent sign of Xiaomi’s success? The new Redmi Note 4 sold 250,000 units within minutes on Flipkart.com, one of India’s most popular retailers.
The timing of the IPO remains unclear — Xiaomi might delay it to the second half of 2018, according to the report. And it’s always possible that the company will pull the plug if it doesn’t get the valuation it’s seeking.
But if the offering goes forward, Xiaomi would be the biggest tech company to go public since Alibaba raised $25 billion at a $231.4 valuation in 2014.