Quoted: on Xiaomi as most valuable tech startup

“I don’t think there’s any company that has reached $1 billion in revenue as fast as Xiaomi. In every conceivable benchmark, it’s almost unprecedented in terms of its speed of growth.”

Yuri Milner, billionaire and investor extraordinaire, on investing in Xiaomi, a Chinese maker of smartphones. The company’s latest round of financing of $1.1 billion values it at $45 billion, reportedly making it the biggest tech startup in the world. (Uber is valued at $41 billion.) In the quarter that ended in September, Xiaomi was the third-largest maker of smartphones, behind Samsung and Apple.

But Milner and others say Xiaomi — whose phones run on a customized Android interface — has a lot more going for it. (And Milner sees the company’s valuation climbing to $100 billion.)

“It has significant potential to become China’s first global consumer brand,” Milner told Bloomberg. “There are a number of other interesting categories that Xiaomi can target.”

As we’ve mentioned, the company has been called the “Apple of China.” Also from Bloomberg, a quote from Gartner analyst Sandy Shen: “It is the expectation that Xiaomi will be able to establish an ecosystem like that of Apple that includes hardware, software and services, an ecosystem that works not only over mobile phones but also other devices.”


Photo: Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun attends the launch of its third-generation Android smartphone, called Mi-3, and a 47-inch smart TV at the National Convention Center on Sept. 5, 2013 in Beijing, China. (ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)


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