Nokia to focus on China, doubles vc fund

Nokia is more than doubling the size of its direct venture investment fund with an injection of €96.3 million (US$150 million), with a view to putting some of the money to use in India and China, an Associated Press report said.

'We've been investing in companies globally, but we need to get even more feet on the ground in China and India,' said Rick Simonson, Nokia CFO.

Menlo Park, California-based Nokia Growth Partners was set up in 2004 to directly manage €64.2 million (US$100 million) of Nokia's money. Its investments have included Bitboys, a Finnish developer of graphics chips that was bought by ATI in 2006 for €28.5 million (US$44.5 million), and Global Locate, a US maker of GPS chips that was bought by Broadcom for at least €93.7 million (US$146 million) last year.

'We've had very good success with this model early on,' Simonson said. 'The financial performance is working as well or better than we expected.'

Apart from seeking a financial return, the fund hunts for startups with technologies that are useful to Nokia. Some areas of focus have included mobile payments and camera technology.

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