Finland-based startup HMD Global took an arguably big risk on the revival of a mobile phone brand that was dying a slow and painful death, but after less than 18 months of effective marketing, robust software support and decent worldwide distribution, it’s safe to say the Nokia resurgence gamble has already paid off handsomely.
So handsomely that the young company is now part of the “unicorn” club, thanks to a recent $100 million gathered from multiple investors to boost HMD’s market valuation over the $1 billion mark.
That’s especially impressive given the $77 million operational loss reported for the 2017 financial year on $2.13 billion total revenue, which means a lot of Nokia-branded handsets were sold at such razor-thin profit margins that other expenses (like advertising) actually caused a money deficit.
Clearly, VC firm Ginko Ventures, which led this latest round of investment, alongside key contributors including DMJ Asia Investment Opportunity Limited and FIH Mobile subsidiary Wonderful Stars Pte. Ltd., strongly believe in HMD’s abilities of turning a profit as part of the “next phase of growth.”
This second phase is basically underway already, with additional plans to “aggressively expand” an ever-growing “portfolio of Nokia smartphones” and “double down on expanding channel reach in strategic markets while continuing to deliver innovation where it matters most to consumers.”
HMD Global wants to stay on a “growth path in 2018 and beyond” by continuing to offer “great smartphones that delight our fans while staying true to our Finnish roots and the hallmarks that the Nokia brand has always been known for.” Hopefully, at least some part of this $100 million funding will be invested in the development of a true flagship and the expansion of the company’s US product lineup.