Xiaomi Smart Home-Appliance Supplier to Plan U.S. IPO

(Bloomberg) -- Viomi, a supplier of internet-connected home appliances to Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi Corp., is planning a U.S. initial public offering, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The four-year-old company could seek about $200 million in the share sale, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Viomi aims to list as soon as this year, one of the people said.

Viomi, based in the southern Chinese city of Foshan, counts Sequoia Capital and Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte among its investors, according to its website. Any deal would add to the $6 billion raised in U.S. first-time share sales by Chinese companies this year, up from $4 billion during all of last year, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

The company would become the second Xiaomi partner to go public, after fitness-tracker maker Huami Corp. raised $126.5 million in a U.S. IPO in February. Shares of Huami have risen 2.7 percent since they began trading, trailing the 6.8 percent gain in the S&P 500 Index over the same period. That deal was followed by Xiaomi itself, which completed a $5.4 billion Hong Kong stock offering in June.

The website of Viomi features a large photograph of founder Chen Xiaoping wearing a dark turtleneck reminiscent of the wardrobe favored by late Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs. Calls to a Viomi phone number listed in Chinese corporate registry filings weren’t answered.

Viomi’s dishwashers, air and water purifiers can be controlled via the company’s mobile app. Its smart refrigerator has a speech recognition function that understands commands such as resetting the temperature, picking up phone calls, playing music and requests for recipe recommendations. The firm completed a series A funding round in 2015 from investors including Xiaomi.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.