After conquering the smartphone space, Xiaomi now wants to enter India’s fintech industry


  • CreditBee is reportedly Xiaomi’s new micro lending platform in India.
  • Experts expect India’s fintech industry to double in the next two years.
  • The service will issue micro loans at a 3% rate of interest for a period of 90 days.
Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi is launching their new lending platform in India. The micro-lending product is named CreditBee since the service has been launched in partnership with KrazyBee.

The company has yet to make an official announcement, but a source speaking to ETtech claimed that the platform is already live and the company will officially unveil it in the coming weeks.

Microloans are essentially loans of small value issued at a low rate of interest. Over the past couple of years, it’s become quite an attractive alternative for under-represented groups or start-ups, who don’t necessarily require a huge loan.

On CreditBee, consumers will be able to avail loans starting from ₹1,000 to ₹100,000. The term of the loans is 90 days, at an interest rate of 3 percent. Their target audience is salaried professionals who need short-term, small amount loans.

KrazyBee, Xiaomi’s partner for this venture, is amongst the companies Xiaomi invested in. It was only last year that they led an $8 million round for the company, which is based out of Bengaluru. And now, Xiaomi may even be looking into making a second investment in the fintech industry with ZestMoney.

ZestMoney is the company that fuels EMI-loans on Mi.com at the moment. Reports indicate that the former is looking to raise around $20 million through Xiaomi and its existing investors, like PayU.

It’s not surprising that Xiaomi is looking at the fintech industry. The company already has a few lending platforms back home in China. Also, it had indicated earlier that it would like to expand its business beyond the smartphone arena and build a non-smartphone portfolio. With the country’s demographic dividend hitting its peak, more and more products are being targeted towards salaried individuals.

Experts speculate that there are nearly 150 million consumers who aren’t 'credit active' right now but are eligible to turn into retail credit borrowers. Their analysis suggests that tapping into that potential could result in big growth opportunities for companies in the lending industry, which in turn will provide a boost to the economy.

That being said, India has historically been a savings oriented nation, though that trend has been slowly been reversing since the dawn of liberalisation and privatisation in 1992. With the fintech software market set to double to $2.4 billion by 2020 from the current $1.2 billion, the transformation will only gain momentum.

Currently, India is the biggest market for Xiaomi, second only to China. The company’s Indian operations even started turning a profit in FY 2017, which marked Xiaomi’s third year in the country with sales of around ₹8,379 crore.
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