Nokia Growth Partners opens Asia offices

The venture capital arm of Nokia opens shop in India and China with an additional $150 million to invest in companies involved in mobile applications and services.
Venture capital firm Nokia Growth Partners (NGP) yesterday announced it has increased its assets under management to $250 million and is opening offices in China and India.

NGP has secured an additional commitment of $150 million from its parent, mobile phone supplier Nokia. This increases NGP's assets under management available for direct investments from $100 million currently. Nokia has been making VC investments since 1998 and to date has invested $900 million in venture funding. It established NGP in 2004 to make investments that are of strategic relevance to Nokia and complementary to its strategy.

NGP's new offices in India and China will supplement ongoing investment activity in the US and Europe. The firm will continue to make direct investments but will also advise its parent on other venture capital fund investments. NokiaÆs focus is on companies that are involved in the mobile landscape, including companies that create mobile applications and services such as context- and location-based services, mobile payments, mobile advertising, music and entertainment, as well as other mobile services and software.

ôFor the funds we invest in, the prospect of partnerships and insights that come from a close alignment with Nokia sets us apart from pure financial investors,ö says Rick Simonson, executive vice-president and chief financial officer of Nokia. "This increase in our commitment to Nokia Growth Partners is aligned with our strategic focus on consumer internet services, reflecting the increased role that Nokia Growth Partners will play in our future success."

Nokia has also developed working relationships with venture funds in which it has invested, including BlueRun Ventures, Founders Fund, Gobi Partners, Magma, Oak Hill Capital Partners and Technology Crossover Venture.
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