Xiaomi is said to be in “advanced talks” to acquire a financial technology startup called ZestMoney. Reportedly, Xiaomi has been in partnership with ZestMoney in the past as well for providing EMI options to buyers on mi.com. Now according to ET, ZestMoney is in talks to raise a total of about $20 million. This funding round will reportedly also see participation from ZestMoney’s existing investors like PayU. Quite understandably, investment in ZestMoney is mainly to help push sales on mi.com by offering affordability.
Last year, Xiaomi made its first investment in the FinTech space, when it raised stake in Bengaluru-based student-focused lending player Krazybee. Xiaomi and Shunwei Capital, the venture capital firm started by Xiaomi founder Lei Jun, led an $8-million round in KrazyBee in October 2017.
Reportedly, Xiaomi’s head of online sales Raghu Reddy says that many of the company’s investments are primarily focused to push for sales and user experience. Xiaomi has also been focusing a lot on content lately, considering native content on apps is becoming an essential differentiator for many users. In 2016, Xiaomi led a $25 million round in online entertainment company Hungama Digital Media Entertainment to introduce local content on its devices.
ZestMoney has a history of operations with e-commerce companies such as Amazon, Flipkart, and MakeMyTrip, among others to offer EMI options on a range of products. It has raised money from investors such as Ribbit Capital and PayU.
Xiaomi’s recent sales and investment strategies seem to be hitting all the right chords. Just yesterday, the company waved another Make in India flag in the country with the announcement of three new plants in the country for local manufacturing of its smartphones. Which leaves the country with a total of six plants manufacturing locally in India.