China’s startup scene: the new companies to watch

Xiaomi SmartPhone

Xiaomi SmartPhone

While everybody focuses on the success of Xiaomi, the Chinese success story of a startup founded in 2010 that sold over 61 million devices in 2014, there’s a growing startup scene that is definitely reshaping the international scenario of the tech industry. Xiaomi is developing its international expansion, mainly focusing on South-East Asia, India and Latin America.

The Chinese government, meanwhile, announced the launch of a new 40 million RMB venture capital fund focused on startup seed investing phases, with the aim to support the development of emerging industries to eventually generate a kick start for a greater economic growth and an increased investment in private sector, as the Financial Times points out.

It’ll be interesting to assess the impact on the dynamic Internet of Things segment in China. One of the most important waves of the tech development, IoT is expected to keep the current positive trends of an annual growth of over 30 percent offering new horizons to the hardware startups international scenario.

The Chinese IoT market reached RMB 365 billion in 2013 and is now prompting several companies offering disruptive and cutting edge products. At this year’s global Consumer Electronics Show, Chinese tech firms launched novel drone, WI-FI and cloud solutions, leading everybody to dramatically rethink the made in China idea.

The more interesting startups worth watching this year, along with Xiaomi and its international expansion plans, are definitely several IoT companies trying to reshape the international market and dive in the current flurry for the connected everyday objects. Good examples among many others, according to major tech magazines, are Broadlink, Aylan networks China and Phantom.

Broadlink provides smart home solutions in the IoT Wi-Fi segment integrated into Xiaomi products (like the smart router). Ayla networks is a US based company offering cloud solutions for manufacturers to turn HVAC appliances into smart devices managing human environments, and secured relevant investments to lead the approach to the Chinese market. Last but not least, Phantom focuses on smart home services to improve the lighting and surveillance management with centralised and intelligent systems, and has reportedly secured a good VC investment round.

Observers should really pay attention to the growing Chinese startup scene, considering also that major US startups like Form Devices (founded by a team of Apple alumni), moved their first steps in Shenzhen thanks to projects like the Haxlr8r program, a premier hardware accelerator preparing entrepreneurs for manufacturing.

Categories: Communication & Technology

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