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Nokia Growth Partners To Invest £250m In Mobile Startups

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Venture fund to invest in high potential mobile startups in US, Asia and Europe

Nokia has announced that it is going to invest $250 million into its investment arm for technology start-ups, Nokia Growth Partners (NGP).

It will be the third venture fund for NGP, which currently has $600 million under its management. The arm invests in mobile hardware and component companies as well as digital advertising startups.

“Over the past decade, Nokia has developed an innovative venturing strategy,” said Timo Ihamuotila, Nokia executive vice president & chief financial officer. “Our ongoing commitment to Nokia Growth Partners reinforces Nokia’s support for a vibrant mobile ecosystem and our determination to collaborate with industry innovators to build great mobile products.”

Nokia Growth Partners investment

Nokia 6800Nokia says that the funds will be used to invest in “high potential businesses within the mobile ecoysytems in the US, Europe and Asia. NGP has previously invested in Quickr, Rocketfuel, SponsorPay and gesture input software maker Swype.

“Nokia Growth Partners is delighted with Nokia’s continuing commitment, which recognizes strong financial performance since our formation in 2005,” said John Gardner, managing partner of Nokia Growth Partners. “What sets NGP apart from pure financial investors are the partnerships and insights our invested companies get from their close association with Nokia.”

“In the past year, NGP has also realized several successful exits, including the IPOs of Morpho and Inside Secure and sales of Swype, Summit Microelectronics and Netmagic,” he continued. “We are excited about our existing strong portfolio of companies and their potential impact globally.”

Nokia made a profit of €202 million during the fourth quarter of 2012, but for the first time in 20 years it has no plans to pay a dividend. Last year, Nokia paid out €0.20 per share, but the decision not to offer investors a return this year could be seen as part of a wider cost-cutting programme that has seen job losses and the offload of several assets such as its Vertu luxury phone subsidiary.

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