Flipkart raises another $700 mn, applies to go public in Singapore

Flipkart has raised another $700 million (Rs 4,300 crore), less than six months after the country’s largest e-tailer surprised everyone with the largest fund-raising by an Indian online retailer so far, $1 billion, reflecting the investor confidence in the fiercely competitive e-commerce space. Significantly, this latest round of rasing funds — which the company closed on Saturday and saw participation from five new global investors — also underlines e-commerce companies’ desire to seek funds to keep up with their discount-led pricing model.

“As with previous funds raised, these funds will be used towards long-term strategic investments in India and to build a world-class technology company, delivering superior customer experiences,” the firm said in a statement.

In this latest round of investment, the company saw participation from new investors, including Greenoaks Capital, Steadview Capital and Qatar Investment Authority, along with existing investors such as DST Global, ICONIQ Capital and Tiger Global, bringing the total number of investors above 50. This year, Flipkart has raised a total of $1.9 billion and close to $2.7 billion since it was founded by  Sachin Bansal and  Binny Bansal in 2007.

“Flipkart Limited (incorporated at Singapore) has filed with ACRA Singapore for conversion to a Public Company. This is a mandatory procedure for all companies where the number of shareholders exceeds 50,” Flipkart said in a statement.

The company also stated that the filing is “in no way indicative of any upcoming IPO or of any corporate activity that the company is engaged in either in Singapore or any other part of the world.”

Flipkart is now valued at about $11 billion (Rs 69,000 crore), more than some of the country’s largest consumer companies. Flipkart is now worth nearly half of India’s fourth-largest IT firm Wipro, which has a market capitalisation of Rs 1.34 lakh crore, and nearly seven times the mid-sized IT services firm Mind-Tree that is valued at around Rs 10,000 crores.

Advertisements

Micromax launches first Cyanogen OS 11 featuring smartphone — Yureka

Micromax, yesterday, launched the Yureka smartphone under the new YU Televentures brand. This smartphone comes after Micromax announced a deal with Cyanogen, giving it the exclusive rights to sell smartphones with the Cyanogen OS 11. The phone is the first under the new Yu series of smartphones which are covered under the above collaboration.

The phone will be sold exclusively on Amazon India for ₹8,999 (US$143) in flash sales. Seems like Micromax is looking to building hype about its new smartphone just like Xiaomi.

The Yureka sports a 5.5-inch, 1280×720 resolution IPS display with Gorilla Glass 3 and is powered by 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 SoC with 1.5GHz octa-core CPU and Adreno 405 GPU, 2GB RAM. It has a 32GB internal memory with microSD card slot. The phone features a 13 megapixel Sony IMX135 rear camera with 24fps burst mode and f2.2 aperture and 5 megapixel front camera, 4G LTE connectivity, dual SIM support, 2,500mAh battery and runs on Cyanogen OS 11.

The main reason for the controversy involving OnePlus One and the Delhi High Court order preventing OnePlus from selling phones in India with Cyanogen OS.

As can be seen above, the features and specifications of the Yureka seem quite impressive for the price. We will have to wait and see how the phone performs in real life.

Registrations for the first flash sale, which will happen in the second week of January, begin at 2PM today, only at Amazon.in.

Xiaomi to resume sales in India till January 8, 2015

Xiaomi has obtained a partial lift off the injunction banning it from selling all of its smartphones in India, after the Delhi High court decided that its Qualcomm-powered devices should not be affected by the ban.

Justice G.P. Mittal, of the Delhi High Court, had imposed a total ban on imports and sales of Xiaomi devices in India last week, at the request of Swedish telecom giant Ericsson. Ericsson alleged that Xiaomi is refusing to pay licenses for eight of its patents, pertaining to AMR, EDGE, and 3G technologies. Xiaomi was banned from selling any of its own devices until the next hearing in the case, which is scheduled for January 8, 2015.

Continue reading Xiaomi to resume sales in India till January 8, 2015

Motorola expects global profits with its 4G smartphone plans for demand-driven India: Rick Osterloh

Motorola Mobility is planning to bring affordable  4G smartphones to India in 2015, one of its priority markets along with Brazil, which according to the world’s third-largest smartphone maker will be critical for its global charge to become market leader.

After being acquired by China’s Lenovo Group Ltd., the US-based smartphone maker aims to lead their global smartphone business while trying to rise to position 3 from position 4 in India due to the strong demand, said Rick Osterloh, president and COO at Motorola Mobility, to the Economic Times in an interview.

“The transition to 4G (in India) will come quickly,” Osterloh said. “Next year, we are going to be very aggressive in the 4G value proposition for end user.”

Continue reading Motorola expects global profits with its 4G smartphone plans for demand-driven India: Rick Osterloh

Xiaomi VP Hugo Barra writes an Open Apology Letter to their Indian fans

After the recent order passed by the Delhi High Court, banning sales and/or import of Xiaomi devices it found to be infringing on Ericsson’s patents.

“Our sincere apologies to all Indian Mi fans! Please rest assured that we’re doing all we can to revert the situation,”

                                                         –Hugo Barra,VP, Global Sales, Xiaomi

The smartphone manufacturer has responded to the ban with an open letter issued by its VP Hugo Barra, apologising to their Indian customers.

In the letter, Barra has acknowledged the ban and says that the company is evaluating its legal options.

Even the company’s Indian website (mi.com/in) is displaying the letter (below) with a link to their Facebook page.

mi india

What’s interesting is that the links to specific phone models (like the RedMi 1S) open up just fine.

Check out the full contents of the Letter after the break…  Continue reading Xiaomi VP Hugo Barra writes an Open Apology Letter to their Indian fans

Delhi High Court bans sales/import Xiaomi devices in India

The world’s fastest growing mobile brand Xiaomi, which made an impressive entry into India with its Mi3 handset in July this year, has now been barred from importing and/or selling its devices in India over an alleged patent infringement, for the time being.

Ask anyone if they have seen the same design language as Xiaomi devices before, and the response will be a unanimous yes. Ask them where and you will hear one name — Apple. The Cupertino giant has every reason to sue the Chinese smartphone-maker but it isn’t them. Not this time.

According to the PTI wire, the Delhi High Court has passed an interim injunction banning the sales and import of all Xiaomi devices running on technology patented by Swedish equipment maker Ericsson, in India. The court order is directed toward Xiaomi India ( or Mi India ) as well as its exclusive online retail partner Flipkart.

I am satisfied that plaintiff (Ericsson) has made out a prima facie case for grant of ad interim injunction in its favour.

— Justice G.P. Mittal, Delhi High Court

The court has also notified both of them to submit affidavits declaring the number of devices sold by them and the revenues earned thereof.

In the patent case against Xiaomi, Ericsson India had submitted to the Delhi court that the Chinese device marker had been violating eight of its patents pertaining to 3G, EDGE and other technologies.

The Court’s order poses to be a setback for Xiaomi which has already sold over half a million smartphones in India. Its weekly flash sales of limited number of handsets, one model at a time, had upped its brand status. But the company also drew criticism for hyping the product by controlling supply. In this week’s flash sale, Xiaomi said 75,000 Redmi Note devices had been sold out in 8 seconds.

Ericsson has said that it had invited Xiaomi to use its patented technology by obtaining a licence, but instead of doing so, the Chinese manufacturer launched its devices in India in July 2014. Reportedly, Xiaomi is readying to open discussions with Ericsson to ‘resolve this matter amicably’.

Reports quoted a Xiaomi spokesperson as saying the phone maker is readying to open discussions with Ericsson to ‘resolve this matter amicably’.

 

Xiaomi to gives a Diwali surprise by bringing the Mi3 back to India

Seems like Xiaomi was looking for a way to one up its Chinese rival Huawei when it decided to bring the leftover stock of its super popular and much in-demand smartphone the Mi3 to the Indian market on the same day of launch of the Huawei Honor 6.

Xiaomi is bringing the Mi3 back but this time, after it’s gone, the smartphone won’t return back. This is the final sale of this amazing product.

The company is offering 25,000 consumers who tried to purchase the device in the previous flash sales, but were unsuccessful, one last chance to do the same, again. These customers will be picked by Xiaomi and Flipkart, and they were intimated of their selection on October 5. However, unlike last times, there will be no flash sale, and the chosen customers won’t have to hit the ‘buy now’ button or wait for hours for the sale to begin.

The smartphone will be added in the cart of the aforementioned customers today. However, unlike earlier, there will be no flash sale, and the chosen customers won’t have to hit the ‘buy now’ button or wait for hours for the sale to begin.

This initiative is a part of Flipkart’s Big Billion Day sale today where the e-commerce site has conducted various sales to mark its inception by the two founders from Room number 610.

Xiaomi has sold about 300,000 Mi phone till date, including the Mi3 and its recently released little brother the RedMi 1S. Both the phones were sold on Flipkart through the flash sale model, and were sold out in seconds.

Huawei to kick off sales of its latest Honor 6 smartphone in India on October 6

Chinese smartphone manufacturer Huawei is set to kick off the sales of its latest smartphone in the Honor series, the Huawei Honor 6, in India on October 6. The smartphone will be sold exclusively on Flipkart.com. Announced all the way back in June, the smartphone was recently launched in China and is now set to be released in the Indian market. It will be available in black and white flavours and is priced at ₹19,999 (US$325).

Huawei-Honor-61The Honor 6 runs on Android 4.4 (KitKat) with the company’s Emotion UI 2.3 on top. It has aluminium alloy frame and a diamond-style texture on the back. It also packs a 3100mAh battery with Huawei’s Patented Power Saving Technology that promises 30% more battery life compared to other smartphones.

While the phone doesn’t have TDD-LTE on 2300 MHz (Band 40) for India, but has FDD-LTE on 1800 MHz that is expected to launch in India in future.

The smartphone also features the company’s Kirin 920 chipset with an octa-core processor. In case you need a refresh, check out rest of the phone’s specifications after the break…

Continue reading Huawei to kick off sales of its latest Honor 6 smartphone in India on October 6

Motorola launches the next-gen Moto G and Moto X along with the Moto 360 and Hint

Earlier today, Motorola has revealed the much rumoured 2nd Generations of its budget Moto G as well as flagship Moto X smartphones.

Much to the surprise of fans across the globe, the company has launched the smartphones first at its event in India, despite confusing reports of a launch event on Thursday in Chicago.

Along with the smartphones Motorola has also announced that it will be retailing its Android Wear-running smartwatch, the Moto 360 in India as well.

As was expected, the phones will be launched exclusively on Flipkart only.

Another exciting product revealed is the Motorola Hint, which seems to be a really attractive take on the bluetooth headset but more on that later.

Let’s begin with Motorola’s budget offering, the rejigged version of the Moto G…

Continue reading Motorola launches the next-gen Moto G and Moto X along with the Moto 360 and Hint

Xiaomi enters the Indian market with last year’s flagship Mi3 and budget RedMi 1S and Note

Following in the footsteps of Motorola and ASUS, Xiaomi has now entered into a pact with Flipkart for exclusive sale in the Indian market.

For those who don’t know Xiaomi is the third-largest smartphone manufacturer in China. It is also dubbed as “the Apple of China” all thanks to the similarity in the design of OS of their phones (MiUI) and the CEO of the company to that of Cupertino.

Xiaomi is now looking to expand its operations to India, the second-fastest growing smartphone market with its super-inexpensive smartphones.

mi3

It is launching three phones in India — the Mi3 at RS. 13,999, the RedMi 1S at Rs. 6,999 and the RedMi Note at Rs. 9,999. The Mi3 will be available on 22nd July whereas the other two will be launched sometime in August.

As told above all three phones will be available via Flipkart and you have to register on Flipkart to be eligible for buying the phones whenever they become available. Registrations are open for the Mi3, till 21st July.

The Xiaomi Mi 3 sports a 5-inch Full HD display and is powered by a 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor with 2GB RAM. It runs on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean (according to Flipkart) with Xiaomi’s proprietary MIUI v5 skin on top though the actual Xiaomi website states that it will run on Android 4.4 KitKat. It packs 16GB internal storage, but since it does not support storage expansion via microSD cards the user might just get about 13.22 Gn of available space.

Xiaomi Mi 3 dons a 13MP camera with dual-LED flash (by Philips) on the back and a 2MP camera in front. Connectivity suite of the smartphone consists of 2G, 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, microUSB 2.0 and NFC. It has a 3,050mAh battery, and Xiaomi claims that the smartphone can deliver talk time of up to 21 hours on 3G networks.

wpid-xiaomimi3_002.jpg

Made of aluminium-magnesium alloy, this smartphone weighs 145 gram and is 8.1mm thick.

The smartphone will come with Xiaomi’s Mi Cloud service, which will allow users to save and access their contacts, messages, photos, notes and call logs online. They will also be able to back up apps in the cloud and locate the handset online in case it is lost.

Xiaomi Redmi 1S, which was unveiled earlier this year, sports a 4.7-inch 720p IPS display. It is powered by a 1.6GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor and 1GB RAM. It comes with 16GB internal storage and a microSD card slot that supports storage cards of up to 64GB. The phone has a 2000mAh battery and runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean with Xiaomi’s MiUi layer on top. It sports an 8MP rear camera and a 1.6MP front facing camera.

Unveiled in May, Xiaomi Redmi Note phablet sports a 5.5-inch 720p IPS display. It is powered by a 1.7GHz MediaTek MT6592 octa-core processor and 2GB RAM. It comes with 8GB internal storage and a microSD card slot that supports storage cards of up to 32GB. The phone has a 3100mAh battery and runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean with Xiaomi’s MiUi layer on top. It sports a 13MP rear camera and a 5MP front facing camera.

wpid-screen-shot-2014-07-16-at-9.36.51-pm.png.png
The RedMi 1S and the RedMi Note

During its launch in Singapore, 5,000 units of Redmi Note, priced at S$199 (Rs 9,600 approximately), were sold out in just 42 seconds. Judging by the pricing of Mi 3 in India, we expect the company to unveil the other phones at an equally competitive prices.

Talking about the company’s India operations, Manu Jain, India operations head, Xiaomi, said

“We are looking to provide the best in class experience to our Mi fans in India. We are starting with 35+ service centres across top 20 cities, a hotline that operates 7 days a week, and a vibrant Mi India Facebook page. Our partner Flipkart, with its world-class technology and customer service, will be key to providing this experience.”

Xiaomi Mi3 sales will commence July 22 at 12 noon on Flipkart. However, interested buyers will need to pre-register before July 22 on Flipkart to become eligible. The company will have a dedicated helpline to track orders. Xiaomi will have 36 service centres in India with two exclusive Mi centres in Delhi and Bangalore.

Marketing Strategy

 

the company aims to reach out to consumers through technology influencers, fans, social media and enthusiasts and will not look at spending big on advertising and marketing, at least in the initial phase.

 

Xiaomi intends to sell its phones exclusively through an online model. Initially, it has partnered with Flipkart, however, it plans to start selling phones on its own website, in the near future, according to Jain. The company is also open to partnering with other online retailers.

miteam

Hugo Barra, vice president of Xiaomi, said during the Q/A session that the company aims to reach out to consumers through technology influencers, fans, social media and enthusiasts and will not look at spending big on advertising and marketing, at least in the initial phase.

When asked how the company plans to gain mindshare in a market where the brand is not known outside the tech circles, he said Xiaomi may rethink its promotional strategy if the current one doesn’t work as intended.

Barra has reassured that the Mi 3 will get timely software updates at both the base level (Android) as well as MiUi updates for a reasonable time period.

One of the differentiating features of Xiaomi’s MiUi interface is themes. It is also a source of revenue for the company as it offers paid themes as well. However,the Themes store available in India will only feature free themes, for the time being, as Xiami is still in the process of integrating payment options.