Nokia has green-lit another $250m in investment into mobile ecosystem development, with the company’s Nokia Growth Partners venture firm targeting China as an area of huge potential growth. The new fund, Nokia Growth Partners’ (NGP) third, will also consider potential candidates from the US, Europe, and elsewhere in Asia, but China is described specifically as “an important market for Nokia.”
That given, NGP has taken on two new China market specialists. Formerly of AMD, where he was corporate senior vice president and president of AMD China, David Tang will be joined by Lu Guo, formerly of Keytone Ventures where he was vice president for mobile and internet investments; Tang was also previously vice chairman of Nokia China. Both will be based in Beijing.
The Chinese market is an area of high interest for most of the big names in technology at present, with Apple repeatedly citing the country as its prediction for the biggest growth over the next few years. For Nokia, which has always counted developing markets as a key factor in its baseline “dumbphone” success, China represents a renewed challenge; Symbian on cheap Nokia handsets had been a mainstay of the market, but the rise of Android and devices from Huawei, ZTE, and others, has meant Nokia’s legacy business lost traction sooner than the Finnish firm anticipated.
NGP will work on hunting down potential new mobile success stories, hoping to repeat its previous successes with firms like Swype and Summit Microelectronics. The fund currently has five Chinese firms in its portfolio, spanning advertising, digital entertainment, browser technologies, and enterprise apps.