In its bid to strengthen availability of localized content services for its smartphones, Chinese smartphone company Xiaomi has led a US$25 million investment into Hungama Digital Media Entertainment.
Other participants in the round include existing investors Intel Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners, and Indian billionaire Rakesh Jhunjhunwala.
This is the first ever investment that Xiaomi has made in an Indian company. It marks the deepening of Xiaomi’s strategy to introduce localised Internet services, in particular content, on its smartphones in India. The move also further solidifies Xiaomi’s commitment in India.
Xiaomi entered India in July 2014 and started local manufacturing a year later as a demonstration of its long-term commitment to the Indian market. Currently, over 75% of its smartphones sold in India are made in India.
In the near future, Xiaomi will start integrating Hungama’s content services into its platforms, which will also include themes and ringtones.
Hugo Barra, Vice President, Xiaomi said: “Xiaomi has been an Internet company from the very start. We think of smartphones as a platform for us to deliver Internet services, and this includes content. As our user base in India grows and as 4G penetration in India continues picking up, we will start to see more and more consumption of digital media through Xiaomi devices. We are investing in Hungama not only to start integrating content into our smartphones, but also to grow together with them and deepen our understanding of the content sector in India. We have carefully selected Hungama because of what they are doing in terms of aggregating large amounts of content and delivering an amazing user experience.”
Hungama has built partnerships with over 700 content creators, and now has over 8000 movies in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Bengali, Punjabi and six other Indian regional languages on its platform. Over 65 million monthly active consumers access Hungama across platforms for its music, video and movie services.
Neeraj Roy, Founder and CEO, Hungama said: “We are very excited to be partnering with Xiaomi, as we are extremely aligned in the way we see digital media becoming mainstream on mobile devices. Xiaomi has a very engaged community of fans, which we believe will benefit from the fabulous and immense repertoire from Hungama’s content services. With this investment, we intend to further strengthen our movie and TV services and in fact, Hungama Play will shortly add 1500 hours of TV content in Indian languages and English.”