HMD Global raises $230 million to bolster 5G smartphone business across US, emerging markets

The Nokia phone developer intends to push digital-first offerings and 5G-compatible devices.

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HMD Global has announced a successful $230 million investment round, with funds earmarked to try and strengthen its position in both the US and emerging markets. 

Over a decade ago, the Nokia brand held the majority of global handset market share. However, when the transition from traditional handsets to smartphones occurred, Nokia was not as quick to explore the possibilities of smart mobile technology and quickly lost ground. 

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Microsoft acquired the brand and Nokia devices began to run on the mobile Windows operating system. Against Google's Android and Apple's iOS, Windows Phone never gained any substantial following, and HMD Global eventually took the brand on -- while also making a switch to Android and pivoting to affordable handsets

On Tuesday, Finland-based HMD Global said the investment has been secured from strategic partners including Google, Qualcomm, and Nokia Corp. There are a number of key areas in which the smartphone manufacturer intends to focus, including expanding into the handset market in the United States and emerging markets such as India, Africa, and Brazil. 

In particular, HMD Global says the funding will be used to facilitate expansion in the 5G market "with an emphasis on strong partnerships with US carriers."

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Now operating in eight regions, HMD Global has sold over 240 million phones to date.  However, the company intends to transition beyond hardware and into "digital-first" offerings, a shift designed to diversify HMD Global's portfolio. 

Considering the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on business worldwide and its influence in creating both a work from home trend and increased reliance on digital and remote tools, HMD Global intends to pursue these markets in the future.

HMD Connect, an international data roaming service, was launched earlier this year. Now, the tech giant intends to build a new research center for digital services in Finland, with a focus on software and security offerings. 

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"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," Florian Seiche, HMD Global CEO commented. "Security, reliability, and dependability are the cornerstones of our offering, and we will ensure we are using these funds to deliver the best experiences people have come to expect from a Nokia phone."

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