CEO of Yota Devices, Vladislav Martynov has said that the Yota’s latest Asian funding focus was the inevitable outcome of a three year relationship with Asia.
“It’s a global world, and we’re selling globally. So it was also natural for us to get funding globally. If you don’t follow the trend, you will be left behind.”
The company gave 64.5% of its stake to Hong Kong investor REX Global Entertainment Holdings last month and partnered with Chinese smartphone maker ZTE shortly after.
Over the past three years, the company had collaborated with Chinese companies on its production and engineering, seeing a gradual increase in its phone’s sale’s in Asia.
Two weeks ago, Hong Kong-based investment company REX Global Entertainment Holdings had signed an agreement to purchase a 64.5 percent stake in Yota Devices for $100 million USD, making the largest shareholder. The news was followed by Yota Devices setting up a strategic partnership with Chinese telecommunications company ZTESC and X&F.
In an interview with TechNode at TechCrunch Beijing 2015, Martynov said recent development in the company’s Asia partnerships had been a long time in the works.
“It’s actually not such surprising news. We have been working with China since three years ago,” Martynov said.
“Every year, we picked up more and more Chinese functions. Their cooperation was first on the assembly line, then engineering, then adding Chinese components. Then we were financed by a Hong Kong investor, then signed a partnership with Chinese manufacturer.”
Martynov explains it is natural reaction to globalization. “There are now so many U.S. and European companies that Chinese and Hong Kong investors are taking a huge stake. Shareholders are all over the globe,” he explains.
He says there were three primary reasons for their partnership with ZTE. Primarily, ZTE can manage large scale production.
“The challenge for Yota Devices was to lower the price of the phone. It can be easily solved through our supply chain partnership with ZTE,” he said. Second is ZTE’s engineering capability for mass production and flexibility on manufacturing.
“ZTE liked the dual-screen concept of Yotaphone. We are a small company, and it’s usually hard to share the vision with a big company,” he remarked.
Yota Devices launched its YotaPhone 2 in the Chinese market in May, which comes with e-ink screen on the back, similar to the kind found on Kindle e-reader.
Launched in 20 countries, Russia and China are currently the two largest markets for YotaPhone, with China to make up over half of global sales soon, according to Yota.
“In the future, many phones will have dual screens, so that you can enjoy reading texts for a longer time without having to turn on or swipe the phone,” said Martynov. “Gadgets shouldn’t be just smart, but they should be intelligently smart, so that they help us in a way that doesn’t interrupt us when using them.”
According to Martynov, YotaPhone 3 will come in a bigger in size with an affordable price, and more intuitive features. It will bring in a more user friendly second display and will have better details. The next generation will be manufactured in China by ZTE’s sub-branch company ZTESC to be released it by the end of the first half of next year.
Image Credit: Yota Devices