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HMD Global Nokia phones raises $230 million investment from strategic partners

16th August 2020
"One of the largest growth financings raised in Europe in 2020."

HMD Global, the home of Nokia phones, announces it has successfully closed 230 million USD in the first closing of its current funding round from some of its top global strategic partners.

As well as establishing itself as a leading feature phone manufacturer by value, HMD Global has been successful in clearly differentiating its Android™ smartphone offering. Nokia smartphones come with a premium Nordic design that is inspired by the company’s European heritage, superior product quality, premium ZEISS imaging experience, and market-leading reliability, as well as security features including a three-year monthly security update promise and two-year Android software upgrade commitment with the Android One promise.

As the only key European smartphone player, HMD Global is increasingly popular with both enterprises and consumers who are looking for a pure, secure, and up-to-date smartphone experience.

Jean-Francois Baril, Executive Chairman and Co-Founder, HMD Global, says: “Our unique business model, based on asset-light global deployment and strong partnerships with the best in the industry, is entering a new level of maturity with the valued support of some of the most influential market-makers in mobile devices. I am extremely proud of our significant achievements to date and also thrilled about the immense opportunity before us to accelerate our journey towards excellence.”  

Florian Seiche, Chief Executive Officer, HMD Global, says: “Since the very beginning, HMD Global has worked to build strong bonds with our strategic partners. This additional investment further validates our long-term business strategy and is evidence of our collective mission to make modern mobile technology accessible to everyone. Security, reliability and dependability are the cornerstones of our offering, and we will ensure we are using these funds to deliver the best experiences people have come to expect from a Nokia phone. As the only major European smartphone manufacturer, we remain true to our Finnish roots and the hallmarks that our customers trust Nokia phones to be synonymous with. With the support of our heavyweight partners, I am truly excited for the next chapter of Nokia phones.”

The investment will further fuel HMD Global’s strategic vision in four key areas. Firstly, it will accelerate the company’s mission to make 5G smartphones accessible to consumers across the world, with an emphasis on strong partnerships with US carriers. Secondly, HMD Global will further transition to digital-first offerings as part of a new post-COVID reality. It will also expand its presence in key growth markets, including the recently introduced operations in Brazil, as well as Africa and India.

Finally, the investment will help the business strengthen its leading position beyond just hardware and into a holistic mobile service provider. This year alone, HMD Global launched its international data roaming service, HMD Connect, enhanced its mobile cybersecurity capabilities with the acquisition of assets of Valona Labs, and built dedicated resources on software, security and services with a new research and development Centre of Excellence in Tampere, Finland.
 

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Nokia selected by Taiwan Star Telecom as 5G network provider

18th May 2020
"Initial rollout will see non-standalone 5G networks deployed across 126 districts"

Nokia today announced details of a new 5G deal with Taiwan Star Telecom (TST). The deal will see Nokia supply TST with its end-to-end AirScale Radio Access network portfolio helping the operator to launch 5G non-standalone (NSA) networks that will lay the foundations for 5G standalone (SA) in the future. Nokia is the only supplier in this deal.
 
Nokia previously installed TST’s LTE network, which will now be migrated to 5G services utilizing Nokia’s AirScale BTS and AirScale Radio Access solutions to deliver excellent coverage and capacity to end-users. Nokia’s AirScale massive MIMO solution will be also be supplied, offering comprehensive coverage. Nokia Global Services will execute rollouts, network design and optimization along with technical software and hardware support using digital and automated services delivery. Nokia’s end-to-end 5G solution ensures a simple migration path and a fast deployment for TST to support its requirements.

TST recently secured 40 MHz of bandwidth and is already underway with the initial phase of network deployment. The early deployment will see 126 commercial districts and retail zones covered which is expected to be completed by Q320 with 80 per cent of metropolitan areas covered by 2023.

Cliff Lai, President of Taiwan Star, commented: “Everything that Taiwan Star has achieved in this dynamic market is the result of our company core values that outline what a unique mobile service provider could be. We are proud to continue working with Nokia who will support us and help us to realize our ambition and deliver 5G services to our subscribers country-wide.”

Tommi Uitto, President of Mobile Networks at Nokia, commented: “We are delighted to have reached this significant milestone with our long-standing partner Taiwan Star, demonstrating its confidence in our global end-to-end portfolio. I look forward to working closely with Taiwan Star Telecom to help upgrade its network and deliver incredible 5G experiences to its subscribers across the country.”

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Google and Qualcomm investing $230 million in HMD Global "Home of Nokia Phones"

12th August 2020
"HMD Global has brought several dozen Nokia phones to market, from low-end basic handsets to top-of-the-line flagships sporting multiple Zeiss cameras."

HMD Global, “The Home Of Nokia Phones”, has raised $230 million in a “series A2” round of funding from some of its existing strategic partners, including Google, Qualcomm, and Nokia consumer division Nokia Technologies, along with undisclosed investors. The Finnish company stressed that this was the “first closing” of the round, suggesting more funding could be added at a later date.

A spokesperson also confirmed that HMD Global’s valuation has passed $1 billion. While Nokia no longer makes consumer devices, the brand is still synonymous with feature phones and smartphones, thanks to a licensing arrangement with HMD Global, a business vehicle founded in 2015 primarily to design and market Nokia-branded mobile phones, with Foxconn subsidiary FIH Mobile responsible for manufacturing.

A few months back, HMD Global unveiled its first 5G device, though the Nokia 8.3 has yet to make it to market. With another $230 million in the bank, HMD Global said it’s now able to “accelerate” its mission to make 5G smartphones accessible to more consumers globally. This will involve developing more alliances with U.S. carriers and building on existing partnerships with Verizon, Cricket Wireless, and AT&T that kicked off last year.

Backers

HMD Global raised $100 million in 2018 from Swiss VC firm Ginko Ventures, DMJ Asia Investment Opportunity, and Wonderful Stars, a subsidiary of FIH Mobile. The high-caliber nature of HMD Global’s latest roster of investors suggests where the Nokia brand could go from here. And as Google reels from the U.S. embargo preventing Huawei from using its mobile apps and services, the company has a vested interest in pushing another phone maker up the ranks.

As a European company, and the only remaining smartphone player on the continent with any meaningful market share, HMD Global is less likely to get caught in the geopolitical crossfire between the U.S. and China. Last year, HMD Global shifted its datacenter from Singapore to Finland, in partnership with Google Cloud, a move that will go some way toward allaying data privacy concerns.

HMD Global’s ambitions stretch beyond the hardware realm. Earlier this year, it launched a new SIM card called HMD Connect that’s focused on roaming, and it snapped up the assets of mobile, enterprise, and cybersecurity software company Valona Labs. At the same time, HMD Global launched a new R&D “center of excellence” to develop software-based services for Nokia devices. This will include building new offerings, such as remote device locking, cybersecurity, enterprise mobility management, and — in the future — imaging and audio technologies.

In short, HMD Global has pretty big ambitions, and with Google and Qualcomm on board, the company is making a bid for serious consideration. Even if it isn’t going to make big gains on the incumbents in North America and Europe, there is still significant market share in play in “key growth markets” like Brazil, India, and parts of Africa.

 

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