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Micromax buys minority stake in local analytics firm, scouts for more

Micromax has reportedly bought a minority stake in a
local analytics company and is close to investing in a Silicon Valley-based
startup that operates in the online price comparison space, as it aims to
transform into a services company from just a mobile phone vendor, reports the
Economic Times.

Micromax has reportedly bought a minority stake in a
local analytics company and is close to investing in a Silicon Valley-based
startup that operates in the online price comparison space, as it aims to
transform into a services company from just a mobile phone vendor, reports the
Economic Times.

Micromax co-founder Rahul Sharma told the Economic
Times
that the company is scouting for more, and can invest between $0.5
million and $20 million in a startup that can be an early-stage venture, a
matured one or something in between.

The company is looking for a stake between 5% and 26%;
the higher range will give voting rights and board membership.

According to the report, investing in startups is the
logical next step for Micromax, which has an 18% market share in India, to
differentiate itself in the crowded and fastest growing smartphone market of
the world.

According to analysts, as international rivals Samsung,
China’s Xiaomi and local competitors like Lava invest in research and
development for creating their mark in a commoditised market, Micromax will
have to strengthen its play – in R&D and local manufacturing – to maintain
its lead.

“We will build some technology and buy some for
moving beyond devices into services that offer granular analytical capability
of consumer data usage and consumer behavior,” Sharma was quoted in the
report as saying. “The services will be used for Micromax and Yu brand of
smartphones and the first signs of integration will be visible within three to
five months.”

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