HMD Global, the Espoo-based developer and marketer of Nokia-branded handsets, has raised over 100 million US dollars in funding to ramp up its business in its second full year of operation, lifting its market valuation to over one billion dollars.
The start-up says in a press release it will use the funding to aggressively expand its range of smartphones and to double its sales channels in strategically important markets by the end of 2018.
“Our objective is to continue introducing to the market fine smartphones that please our fans around the globe,” comments Florian Seiche, the CEO of HMD Global. “Our objective is to be one of the leading operators in the global smartphone market, and our success thus far has reinforced our confidence in our ability to continue on the growth path in 2018 and beyond.”
The newly completed funding round was led by Switzerland’s Ginko Ventures with participations also from DMJ Asia Investment Opportunity Limited and Wonderful Star.
HMD Global acquired an exclusive right to develop and sell feature phones, smartphones and tablet computers under the brand of Nokia in mid-2016.
The start-up reported earlier this year that it shipped more than 70 million Nokia-branded smartphones, established a presence in over 80 countries and saw its handsets activated in 170 countries in 2017 – its first full year of operation. Its products are currently available through over 250,000 retail points worldwide.
It posted operating losses of 65 million euros on net sales of 1.8 billion euros in 2017.
Pekka Rantala, the deputy chief executive of the start-up, says the primary reason for the loss-making year were the early-stage investments the start-up made in marketing, global distributor network and operational control systems.
“We’ve been well-received in various parts of the world, and consumers have been very satisfied [with our products]. Four in five consumers have revealed that they’d also recommend our phones to friends and family,” he commented to Helsingin Sanomat on Monday, 21 May.
CORRECTION: HMD Global's funding round yielded 100 million US dollars, not euros as an unedited version of this article erroneously claimed.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Handout/HMD Global