Indian start-ups continue to be the focus of China's Shunwei Capital and Xiaomi

Shunwei Capital, founded by Xiaomi founders Lei Jun and Tuck Lye Koh, which manages assets of about $3 billion has co-led a $5.5 million (about Rs 40 crore) investment round in regional language podcast app Kuku FM. This marks their first deal, in the new calendar year, in the Indian startup ecosystem for the two deep-rooted Chinese investors.

“We’re super bullish on vernacular language social network. Because we have an extremely high conviction that India will have at least one social network with at least 100 million daily active users. Today in China, there are few of them. Many of them are valued at tens of billions of dollars. There are 1.4 billion people in India, it’s a vast geography with different dialects and habits. Facebook and Twitter are mostly English dominated. And we believe that there’s demand for a Hindi social network, a Tamil social network. ” says Tuck Lye Koh.

Backing this ideology of Tuck Lye Koh, Kuku FM, the Mumbai-based company will use the proceeds from the Series A investment to expand its content repository, and to increase the number of languages available on its platform.
At the time when players like hotel aggregator chain OYO made an entry in China, venture funds like Shunwei Capital have been increasingly exploring the Indian startup ecosystem with this deal being the 18th funding round that Shunwei Capital has participated in over the course of the last 12 months.
In the last two years, the Beijing-based firm — which is investing out of its $1.2 billion sixth fund — has backed the likes of online food delivery platform Zomato, regional language social media company ShareChat, mobile bike taxi service Rapido and social commerce startup Meesho.
Individually, WorkIndia, an online and mobile-based platform that connects companies with blue collar employees, based on their location, has received an investment of Rs 42 crore from Xiaomi. 
This is the latest among the deals closed by Xiaomi, one of the largest smartphone manufacturers in India, which has a market capitalisation of about $30 billion. Xiaomi has also backed the likes of Sharechat, Zest Money and TouchTalent over the last 24 months.

Authored by Alan Jose, Content Developer (Startup Monk)

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