HMD Global, the home of Nokia branded phones, announced it has raised $100 million to scale up its business globally. Among the investors include the Geneva-based VC firm Ginko Ventures, with DMJ Asia Investment Opportunity too holding a stake. The other stake holder happens to be Wonderful Stars, which again is a subsidiary of FIH Mobile.
With fresh funds in its kitty, HMD Global stated they would be aggressively pushing the Nokia brand in the world market with newer devices leading the charge. Keeping up the innovative touch will also be the keyword here which will be crucial to achieve more market penetration and hold on to its own in an increasingly competitive scenario in the smartphone segment.
The latest funding has also helped the company attain the ‘unicorn’ status, a coveted ranking that signifies the company having exceeded a valuation of the billion-dollar mark. The company said it has shipped more than 70 million Nokia branded phones so far since its rebirth of sorts and post the painful and largely unsuccessful acquisition by Microsoft. It has six smartphones and five feature phones to offer, but more are in the offing. It launched five more handsets at the MWC this February.
The company has also been banking heavily to cash in on the Nokia brand name that still evokes mixed feeling among old timers. It heads back to a time when Nokia used to be one of the most trusted names in the world of mobiles. However, much has changed since and the advent of smartphones has changed the entire scenario upside down. New players have emerged, and the competition is far more intense than any time before.
However, HMD Global is largely targeting the developing markets with its latest range of devices. Also, its the mid-range segment that the company seems to be keen on at the moment, one that drives the maximum volumes worldwide. The company has also been conforming to the Android One program that envisages having a stock Android platform on the handsets. Not only that saves from developing a separate user interface, buyers too have started to prefer an unadulterated Android experience.
No wonder, the strategy seems to be paying off already what with the company outselling other established players such as HTC, Google, Sony, Lenovo and even OnePlus in the last quarter last year. HMD Global reported total revenue for the 2017 financial year at $2.13 billion. However, there also is the net operating loss of $77 million incurred, and the company said they are already working on the issue.
What is needed are tons of exciting devices that are feature loaded and launched at attractive price points to make them the sort of staple devices it once used to be. It will be interesting to see how the company shapes itself up in the coming days.