HMD Global receives $230 mn from Google, Qualcomm and Nokia

HMD Global, the maker of Nokia-branded smartphones, has received $230 million of investment from partners including Google, Qualcomm and Nokia Technologies to help accelerate its development of 5G devices.
HMD Global for Nokia
HMD chief executive Florian Seiche said the success of the funding round – the largest since the Finland-based company was founded in late-2016 – validated its strategy of working closely with partners in software and hardware.

HMD’s smartphones run Google’s Android One software, an unadulterated version of the operating system (OS) that promises three years of security updates and two years of OS updates.

“Google is delivering a similar experience on its own Pixel range, and we are a perfect complement to their own initiatives,” Florian Seiche said. “They’re focused on fewer selected geographies and channels; we are much broader and also present in emerging markets.”

HMD’s first 5G device – the Nokia 8.3 5G – goes on sale next month, and Florian Seiche said the investment would accelerate HMD’s development of 5G handsets at lower prices.

“We believe the second half of this year will see a broader set of 5G phones in the market, and we believe the true mid-tier range will probably be in the first half of next year,” Florian Seiche said.

HMD would also continue to invest in low-priced feature phones. Florian Seiche said it will deepen its relationships with carriers in markets in Africa, India and Brazil.

Florian Seiche said Covid-19 had impacted sales, but demand had come back quite strongly in May and June, and the company had returned to profitability in June.