Yunmake, a Hangzhou-based smart bike maker, has raised a Series A led by Shunwei Capital, the investment firm led by Xiaomi chief executive officer Lei Jun. The company did not reveal the precise amount, but an article posted to Yunmake founder and CEO Qiu Yiwu’s Weibo said that the round is worth “tens of millions of RMB” (10 million RMB is equal to about $1.6 million).
Other participants include Foxconn, Qualcomm, ZhenFund, Ricebank, and Yinxinggu Capital. Shunwei and Ricebank are both returning investors, having contributed to Yunmake’s angel round last year, according to TechNode.
Yunmake makes foldable electric bikes, like the X1 (pictured above), that are battery-powered and connected to an app.
While a Xiaomi representative declined to comment on potential collaborations with Yunmake, Shunwei’s (and, by extension, Lei Jun’s) interest in the company is notable because Xiaomi is busy building a hardware ecosystem that extends beyond its smartphones. Xiaomi hasn’t rolled out vehicles yet, but reports have surfaced that it wants to add electronic bikes and smart cars to its growing roster of consumer hardware.
Devices sold by the company now run the gamut from GoPro-like action cameras, smart televisions, and fitness trackers to less glamorous products like a smart air purifier. Cynics may wonder why Xiaomi is hawking blood pressure monitors, but as analyst Ben Thompson of Stratechery wrote earlier this year, Xiaomi doesn’t just want to be a phone maker—it’s intent on becoming an Internet of Things company.
Most of its hardware runs on MIUI, Xiaomi’s Android skin, and are connected to its messaging service and e-commerce store. In an interview with TechCrunch’s Jon Russell earlier this year, Xiaomi’s international vice president Hugo Barra explained that Xiaomi monetizes through its software services, so bringing more people into its ecosystem through low-priced hardware that covers different lifestyle needs is essential.