Micromax has invested in a local analytics company for a ‘significant minority stake’ and is close to investing in a Silicon Valley based startup, which operates in the online price comparison space, reports ET Tech.
Micromax did not provide further details of the deal such as the company it purchased the stake in, the amount invested or other terms of the deal. However, it did mention that its looking for more startups to invest in, and would provide between $0.5 million and $20 million to startups in exchange for 5% to 26% of the stake.
The report also mentions that Micromax believes this move will enable it to transform into a services company rather than just a mobile phone vendor. Micromax had first mentioned its plans to foray into the services businesses in September last year. The company had mentioned then that the objective was to explore alternate revenue streams, however, Micromax CEO Vineet Taneja told the publication that no developments in this regard is likely to materialize over the next 2-3 quarters.
We wonder what Micromax plans as services: will it look to offer WAP services and a Play Store equivalent on its Android phones? Note that the company had earlier inked a strategic partnership with chipset maker MediaTek and telco Aircel to launch bundled device offers for Mediatek powered Micromax products including smartphones, tablets, features phones and 3G dongles. This included offering Rs 10,000 worth free WAP content over three months, a three months free subscription of its mobile TV service Popkorn TV and 1GB free data per month for three months.
Coincidentally, Samsung, which also fancies itself as a services company, shut down its ChatOn messenger services starting this month. The company had made this announcement in December, blaming ‘changing market conditions’ for the shutdown.
Micromax manufacturing in India:
Earlier this week, Micromax got clearance for a Rs 500 crore manufacturing plant in Rajasthan’s Alwar district following the signing of an MoU between the state government and Bhagwati Products, as reported by Firstpost. The plant will be spread across 25 acres, and would be used by the company for the production of mobile phones, TVs, LED lights etc.
Micromax had previously started manufacturing devices in its Rudrapur plant in April last year. Prior to this, the company was importing devices from China, where it has tie-ups with manufacturers such as Foxconn. Co-founder Rahul Sharma had said then that their end goal was to go global as an Indian hardware brand.
Image source: Micromax