Broad-based Finnish telecommunications group Nokia is the latest European corporation to announce its entry into the corporate venturing arena. The group plans to establish the Nokia Venture Capital Fund, capitalised at $100 million (ecu 91 million), to fuel future growth and boost new product and long-term business development.
Nokia itself has grown rapidly recently through organic expansion and now hopes to capitalise on new growth possibilities resulting from the convergence of the telecommunications, datacommunications and information technology industries.
The Nokia Venture Capital Fund will invest globally, with a special emphasis on centres of innovation. Accordingly, Nokia plans to establish an office in Silicon Valley to support the new fund.
In recent months, Nokia has invested in two Silicon-Valley-based companies: Ipsilon, which has now been integrated into Nokia Telecom’s IP Routing, and Diamond Lane.
A Nokia spokesman said details of how the fund would operate had not yet been formalised, but that it is likely to take stakes of at least 50% in investees, all of which will be firms in areas related to Nokia’s sectors of operation.
Nokia executive vice president Pekka Ala-Pietil, will have overall responsibility for the venture fund.