HMD Global's deal with Nokia to license its name for smartphones has been a rousing success. For example, today's flash sale to launch the Nokia X6sold out all available inventory in ten seconds. The Nokia brand is on its way to having some relevancy again; the 4.4 million smartphones it sold in the fourth quarter of 2017 topped the number rung up by HTC, OnePlus, Google, Sony and Lenovo during the same period. It makes you wonder what might have been had then Nokia CEO Stephen Elop chosen Android instead of Windows Phone to run Nokia's new connected handsets back in 2011. It was a decision that Elop said he never regretted.
In 2013, Nokia announced that it was selling its handset business to Microsoft for $7.2 billion. The deal contained a non-compete clause that prevented the Nokia name from being used on a smartphone until late in 2016. In May of that year, HMD Global licensed the Nokia name and a new era was born.
Surely you've heard the old saying that "it takes money to make money." With that in mind, HMD Global announced today that it has raised $100 million to ramp up growth of its Nokia revival. Last year, the company sold 70 million Nokia branded handsets, ringing up $2.1 billion in sales. In 2017, Nokia was the top selling feature phone brand and ranked 11th in smartphones according to Counterpoint Research. This year, HMD Global says that it plans on doubling sales channels in certain regions, while expanding the range of the Nokia smartphone line. That takes cash to accomplish.
Among the new investors is Foxconn subsidiary FIH Mobile, the company that actually produces Nokia phones. Another new investor is DMJ Asia Investment Opportunity.