Google, Qualcomm Join $230 Million HMD Global Investment In 5G Push
The maker of Nokia smartphones, HMD Global, has closed a US$230 million funding round from investors such as Google, Qualcomm, and Nokia’s consumer arm ‘Nokia Technologies’, as the company seeks to “accelerate” its 5G push.
Commentators speculate Google’s interest in HMD Global and Nokia-branded devices stems from a desire to replace Huawei, who is embroiled in trade tensions with the US and declining international sales.
HMD Global’s origin as a Finish company is likely to appease US regulators, presenting an incentive for Google to push it up its ranks.
The company recently etched a new R&D centre to develop software services for Nokia devices (e.g. remote device locking), with commentators expecting the brand to make further strides now that partners as Qualcomm and Google are on board.
The investment round comes after HMD Global unveiled its first 5G device a few months prior, with the Nokia 8.3 yet to enter the market.
The $230 million investment round is set to “accelerate” HMD Global’s 5G push, intensifying strategic partnerships with IUS carriers, and increasing global distribution.
According to Counterpoint Research, HMD Global is around the 13th largest global smartphone maker with an approximate 1% market share.
The ‘series A2’ funding round was a ‘first closing’, prompting speculation additional funding may be collected in the future.
HMD Global has a licensing agreement with Nokia to design and market Nokia-branded smartphones, with a Foxconn subsidiary managing manufacturing.