OnePlus One
OnePlus, the Chinese smartphone startup, has revealed that it is in talks with Silicon Valley venture capital funds about investment to help double its workforce and launch two new smartphones in 2015. IBTimes UK

Chinese startup OnePlus is looking to make a significant impact on the smartphone market in 2015 by doubling its workforce and launching two new smartphones - and is seeking Silicon Valley money to do so.

Carl Pei, one of the co-founders of the company, revealed it is already in talks with venture capital funds in the Bay area about an investment which will see the company boost its workforce to 1,500 by the end of 2015.

OnePlus rose to prominence in 2014 by launching the OnePlus One, a powerful flagship smartphone which sold for roughly half the price of similarly-specced devices from Apple and Samsung.

OnePlus, which was founded just 18 months ago, helped generate significant interest in its product by selling the One smartphone only to those with exclusive invites - topping one million sales in 2014.

Now the company wants to build on that success but to do so, it needs outside investment.

"We lack the experience to help us grow one step further, so we are actually in talks with VCs in the Valley. The most important part is access to experience and senior-level talent that will help us scale further," Pei told Bloomberg.

Pei however declined to say how much investment they were seeking or what valuation the company would have.

CEO Peter Lau said the company hopes to sell up to 5 million smartphones in 2015, doubling that figures in 2016 to 10 million smartphones.

China power

The Chinese smartphone industry is currently the most vibrant, innovative and interesting anywhere in the world with company's like Xiaomi, Lenovo, Huawei and ZTE challenging the incumbents like Apple, Samsung, Sony and HTC.

Xiaomi, recently valued at $45bn, has grown to become one of the biggest smartphone company's in the world despite only selling its smartphones in a handful of Asian countries.

OnePlus however is looking outside of China to continue its growth, revealing that two-thirds of its sales came from outside the country in 2014.

OnePlus recently launched a mini-drone costing £15.99 but of much more interest to the loyal fanbase the company has quickly built up are its new smartphones.

Two new OnePlus smartphones

The OnePlus Two, the successor to the One smartphone, will be launched in the third quarter of 2015 according to Lau, while the CEO also revealed that the company will launch a budget smartphone before the end of the year - though he failed to reveal any details.

OnePlus uses the Cyanogen flavour of Android and the company has just rolled out the Cyanogen 12 update for its One smartphone users, based on the Android 5.0 (Lollipop) version of Google's operating system.

However the company has also recently announced its own take on Android with Oxygen OS, mimicking Xiaomi's approach with the hugely-popular MIUI software.

The launch of Oxygen OS shows that like Xiaomi, OnePlus is eager to begin to develop a platform through which app developers can sell their apps, allowing OnePlus to reap the financial benefits rather than Google.

"We're hoping to develop a platform," Lau told Bloomberg. "What I'm thinking is, for example in five years, we will become a platform host and allow many software developers to use our platform to give end users more choice."