HMD announced today that it will “aggressively expand its portfolio of Nokia smartphones” in 2018, thanks in part to an additional $100 million in financing.
“We are thrilled to have these investors join us in our journey to script the next chapter of Nokia phones,” HMD CEO Florian Seiche said in a prepared statement. “It is our ambition to deliver 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. We aim to be among the top smartphone players globally and our success to date gives us the confidence to further continue on a growth path in 2018 and beyond.”
HMD was formed in December 2016 and it posted a $77 million loss on revenues of $2.13 billion for the year. But its momentum is undeniable: HMD shipped (not necessarily sold) an incredible 70 million Nokia-branded phones in 2017 alone. And during that first year, it scaled its operations from availability in 80 countries to over 170 today. HMD today sells 16 Nokia-branded handsets and smartphones. And it has established itself as the “lead global partner” for Google’s Android One program.
The ongoing popularity of the Nokia brand, especially in key countries in Western Europe and Asia, and in developing countries, is key to HMD’s success. Nokia is somehow the fourth most popular smartphone by sales in the UK, behind only Apple, Samsung, and Huawei. And at Mobile World Congress this year, it said its goal was to be the third biggest smartphone maker worldwide.
You never know: Without the weight of the old Nokia’s operations weighing on it, HMD can push forward more nimbly. And from what I can see, its existing devices have been very well received.