JMGO, an Alibaba-backed Chinese smart projector and laser TV maker, has secured 1 billion yuan ($157.5 million) in a new funding round from investors including IDG Capital and smartphone maker Oppo.
The investment is a pre-IPO round for JMGO, said financial advisor Function Capital in a post on its official WeChat account on Tuesday.
Shenzhen-based JMGO is also looking to collaborate with Oppo, which is stepping up its Internet of Things (IoT) business by leveraging the firm’s existing smartphone user base to expand into the smart home sphere, said JMGO founder and CEO Eric Hu in an interview with Chinese tech news site 36Kr.
JMGO will also benefit from the supply chain resources of Oppo, which has footprints in over 50 countries and regions worldwide, said Hu.
Founded in 2011, JMGO provides consumers with smart projectors and laser TVs largely priced from a few thousands to up to about 40,000 yuan ($6,300.6). It also delivers a suite of matching software and hardware, entertainment content from movies and TV shows as well as accessories like wireless microphones, game controllers, and 3D goggles.
The firm distributes products through franchisers, its official website, and flagship stores on e-commerce platforms such as Alibaba’s Tmall and JD.com. Currently operating six branded chain stores and 16 pop-up shops in China, it targets to open 100 new pop-up shops in central business districts this year.
China’s smart projector market is experiencing robust growth, as people spend more time and money on smart home devices amid the pandemic hit.
The country recorded the deliveries of 2.27 million smart projectors in the first half of 2021, up 32.4% year-on-year. The domestic market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 16% in the five years till 2025, according to a report by market intelligence firm IDC.
The virus-induced new normal represents a window of accelerated growth for JMGO and its domestic rivals including household appliances maker Hisense, Baidu-backed XGimi, and Hong Kong-listed Xiaomi, the Chinese smartphone giant that also offers customers a wide range of smart home products including smart projectors.
As its pre-IPO round, JMGO is a step behind some of its counterparts in tapping the public market for funding. Chengdu-based XGimi went public on Shanghai’s Nasdaq-style STAR Market in March 2021, after raising almost 1.7 billion yuan ($267.6 million) in an IPO.
“JMGO does have a listing plan in mind, but it will not be the final destination of the company,” said Hu. “We will continue to focus on cementing our business fundamentals, improving supply chain management and our capabilities in production, sales, and product delivery.”
Hu added that the new financing will replenish JMGO’s working capital, as the company scales up its operations and increases investments in technological innovation, product R&D, distribution channel expansion, and brand promotion.
In November 2020, the firm had closed an RMB-denominated, seven-digit investment led by Wuhu Construction Investment, a state-owned investment management firm in eastern China’s Anhui Province.