Nokia licensee HMD Global raises $100 million of funding to boost growth after selling 70 million phones in 2017

Having sold about 70 million Nokia phones and generated sales of $2.1 billion in 2017, HMD said it plans to expand its Nokia smartphone range.

HMD Global, the Finnish company that owns the right to use the Nokia brand on phones, has raised $100 million of funding intended to boost growth, it said on Monday.

The Nokia 8 Sirocco is HMD's current Nokia flagship. Image: Reuters

The Nokia 8 Sirocco is HMD's current Nokia flagship. Image: Reuters

Having sold about 70 million Nokia phones and generated sales of 1.8 billion euros ($2.1 billion) in its first year, 2017, HMD said it plans to expand its Nokia smartphone range and to double sales channels in key markets this year.

“Our aim is to be one of the leading players in the global smartphone market, and our initial success strengthens our confidence that we can continue on our growth path in 2018 and beyond,” CEO Florian Seiche said in a statement.

New investors include DMJ Asia Investment Opportunity and Foxconn subsidiary FIH Mobile. The fundraising round was led by Ginko Ventures, a fund owned by Jean-Francois Baril, a long-serving former senior vice president at Nokia.

Actual stakes were not disclosed.

HMD’s products are built by FIH Mobile and use Google’s Android platform. It pays Nokia Corp royalties for the brand and patents, but Nokia has no direct investment in HMD.

Florian Seiche, Chief Executive Officer of HMD Global presents new Nokia mobiles during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain February 25, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman - RC16552C1350

Florian Seiche, Chief Executive Officer of HMD Global presents new Nokia mobiles during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Image: Reuters

Once the world’s dominant phone maker, Nokia Corp failed to compete in touchscreen smartphones and ended up selling its handset business to Microsoft in 2014. It is now focused on telecom network equipment.

HMD, set up by former Nokia executives, took over the Nokia feature phone business from Microsoft in 2016 and struck a deal with Nokia Oyj to use the brand on smartphones.

According to Counterpoint Research, Nokia was the biggest-selling brand last year in low-cost feature phones and ranked No. 11 in smartphones.

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