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Nokia chucks another $250m at its mobile VC biz

Maybe we can FUND a winner

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Nokia is setting up a third investment fund, putting $250m on the table for its VC business to invest in mobile-related ventures. It has also announced the appointment of a new MD and principal in its brand-new offices in China, where it is looking to expand operations.

Not that David Tang, the new Beijing-based managing director, will have trouble finding his way around, having spent a while as the vice president of Nokia China, but he's now working for Nokia Growth Partners, the investment arm. NGP already manages around $600m in funding and has had some decent successes.

NGP helped fund Inside Secure, which went public last year on the back of its NFC and secure processing platforms, and it also provided money to Swype and Netmagic, both of which made money for the fund when it sold out.

The new money isn't just for China, but the appointment of David Tang, who already advises various Chinese mobile businesses, is certainly a statement of intent.

Most of the large companies in mobile have investment arms, hoping their experience in mobile will help them spot the winners, and that taking advantage of industry connections will help those investments pay off. While these investments might help generate some sales or improve the brand, such funds are definitely intended to make a profit too.

Nokia's investments run from $5m to $15m or so, so they're more along the lines of growth capital rather than seed funding, which is good news as that's the money so many companies seem to be having trouble raising these days. ®

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