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Google, Nokia back HMD Global in funding round

Handset manufacturer HMD Global secured $230 million in funding to help accelerate growth plans, with Reuters naming Google, Qualcomm and Nokia Technologies among its investors.

The company, best known for producing Nokia-branded handsets, noted the cash would be used to pursue growth in four target areas.

Its aims are: make its 5G devices accessible globally, citing a specific target to form “strong partnerships” with operators in the US; transition to digital first product offerings; up its position in Brazil, India and Africa; and move beyond just hardware to become a “holistic mobile service provider”.

HMD Global is already active in 91 markets with combined sales of more than 240 million handsets across smart and feature phones.

Outside of hardware, the company provides international roaming services through HMD Connect. Earlier this year it acquired mobile cybersecurity assets from Valona Labs and opened an R&D facility in Finland focused on developments in software and cybersecurity.

Announcing the funding, HMD Global confirmed the total sum but did not disclose the identity of the investors except stating they were some of its “top global strategic partners”. Reuters later named Qualcomm, Nokia Technologies and Google among the backers following an interview with HMD Global CEO Florian Seiche.

In the company’s statement Seiche said: “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.”


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Byron Adonis Mutingwende