Nokia phone-maker raises $230 million, plans to make India its export hub

nokia 8.3 smartphone

(Image credit: Nokia)

HMD Global– the home of Nokia phones – has raised $230 million investment from strategic partners, including Google, Qualcomm and Nokia Technologies. And the company has made it clear that this is the “first closing of its current funding round from some of its top global strategic partners”, suggesting that more such investments are in the pipeline.

As Nokia no longer makes consumer devices it has worked out a licensing arrangement with HMD Global to design and market Nokia-branded mobile phones.

HMD Global recently unveiled its first 5G device, the Nokia 8.3, which is still to make it to the market. With $230 million now in its hands, HMD Global said it will ‘accelerate its mission to make 5G smartphones accessible to more consumers globally.’ 

HMD Global said it would further transition to digital-first offerings as part of a new post-COVID reality. It will also expand its presence in key growth markets, including the recently introduced operations in Brazil, as well as Africa and India. 

Jean-Francois Baril, Executive Chairman and Co-Founder, HMD Global, says: “Our unique business model, based on asset-light global deployment and strong partnerships with the best in the industry, is entering a new level of maturity with the valued support of some of the most influential market-makers in mobile devices.”

Florian Seiche, Chief Executive Officer, HMD Global, says: “This additional investment further validates our long-term business strategy and is evidence of our collective mission to make modern mobile technology accessible to everyone.” 

Since the company began its operations in 2016, HMD Global is now active in 91 markets across eight regions and 250,000 retail outlets and has sold over 240 million phones to date.

India is HMD Global’s major focus

Meanwhile, the Economic Times has quoted Seiche as saying, “we believe that this is a great opportunity we see in India, first to bring 5G also to India in an accelerated fashion and then we are working closely also with both Qualcomm and Google on the 4G entry level initiatives.”

More importantly, Seiche has revealed that HMD Global has plans to make India as its export hub. He said: “We have a very solid foothold in India. And for smartphones, we are at the moment in deep discussions with local manufacturing partners, with the government, but also even with local possible component partners. So, we are very excited to see those possibilities become real in the next couple of months. And once we have that established, then obviously, as a future step, we could also envision India to be an export hub for us. However, now the first focus is definitely to strengthen that local supply chain set up to serve the Indian market and those opportunities that we can grow there locally.”

In the words of Seiche, HMD Global has strong partnerships in place with both Flipkart and Amazon. But HMD Global is also looking forward to strengthening its partnerships locally in India.

Seiche sees a renewed opportunity for his company in India vis-a-vis smartphones. “People are getting their smartphone experience enhanced, I think these fundamental values that we are providing, they are really becoming more relevant and important, especially during times like this,” he said.

August 12, 2020
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