Nokia Growth Partners dials up new $250 million allocation for mobile investment

The corporate venture arm of mobile phone manufacturers Nokia has unveiled its third investment fund and set aside $250 million (£159.1 million) for deals.


The corporate venture arm of mobile phone manufacturers Nokia has unveiled its third investment fund and set aside $250 million (£159.1 million) for deals.

With an active portfolio of 23 global businesses, Nokia Growth Partners NGP has secured $250 million (£159.1 million) from its parent backer.

NGP says it will continue to invest in ‘high potential’ businesses within the mobile ‘ecosystem’ in the US, Europe and Asia. It is also now planning to build on its presence in China and has appointed David Tang as managing director and Lu Guo as principal.

The fundraising is the third closed by NGP and it will now source deals from its offices in California, Geneva, Helsinki, New Delhi and Beijing.

Nokia’s corporate venture arm began its activities back in 2004 when an initial $100 million was set aside. The fund was then topped up with another $150 million in 2008, with the embattled mobile phone company still the only limited partner.

The capital raised was in addition to a $100 million fund of funds also run by NGP on behalf of Nokia, which is used to distribute allocations around to other venture capital houses.

Timo Ihamuotila, Nokia executive vice president and chief financial officer, comments, ‘Over the past decade, Nokia has developed an innovative venturing strategy.

‘Our ongoing commitment to NGP reinforces Nokia’s support for a vibrant mobile ecosystem and our determination to collaborate with industry innovators to build great mobile products.’

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NGP’s active European portfolio includes Zurich-headquartered advanced micro-optics designer and manufacturer Heptagon as well as SponsorPay, a Berlin-based ad-funded payment service.

Its last investment came back in October 2012 when it injected $9 million into Bangalore-headquartered Vizury.

NGP managing director John Gardner says that the backing of Nokia recognises the fund’s ‘strong financial performance’ since its foundation.

He adds, ‘What sets NGP apart form pure financial investors are the partnerships and insights our invested companies get from their close association with Nokia. 

‘In the past year, NGP has also realised several successful exits, including the IPOs of Morpho and Inside Secure and sales of Swype, Summit Microelectronics and Netmagic.’

New hires Tang and Guo, who will both be based in Beijing, are said to have over 35 years of technology and investment experience. Tang joins from AMD where he was corporate senior vice president and president of AMD China while Guo moves over form Keytone Ventures where he held the role of vice president responsible for mobile and internet investments.

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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