As if we needed another sign of Xiaomi's skyrocketing growth, the Chinese smartphone maker says it's now the most highly valued technology startup in the world. Yes, it's even worth more than wunderkind Uber. Xiaomi announced that it raised a whopping $1.1 billion from investors, which pegged its valuation at $45 billion, slightly higher than Uber's $40 billion-plus value. For a company that didn't even exist before 2010, Xiaomi is on a roll: It was named the third-largest smartphone maker in the world earlier this year (which honestly makes it hard to think of it as a startup). And it's now focused on expansion efforts in India and Indonesia (scaling back plans to reach 10 more countries this year). It's no wonder why Xiaomi is popular in emerging markets -- its phones offer high-end specs and looks for a fraction of the price of other smartphones. While it has no plans to tackle the US or Europe yet (its next stop is Brazil next year), Xiaomi's unique strategy and massive funding could end up driving down smartphone prices everywhere.
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