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Nokia commits $400M to invest in game-changing 5G startups

NGP Capital
Image credits: NGP Capital

California-based NGP Capital, a global growth-stage investment firm is known for its investments in cybersecurity, digital industry, edge cloud and digital transformation. Now, NGP Capital has raised a new venture investment fund of $400 million from Finnish company Nokia.

This is the fifth fund that NGP Capital has managed for Nokia and this investment brings the fund’s total committed, but uninvested capital to over $550 million. Also, the total commitments from Nokia since the fund’s inception is now over $1.6 billion.

The fund’s emphasis on companies in Europe, US, India and China developing emerging 5G use cases for industrial and business transformation aligns closely with Nokia’s technology leadership vision and its efforts to maximize the value shift towards the cloud.

Nokia, NGP Capital partnership

Launched in 2005, NGP Capital has worked as an arm’s length investor in an exclusive partnership with Nokia Corporation. NGP Capital has invested successfully in Europe, China, India and the US, the most competitive and innovative markets in the world. In partnership with Nokia, it is one of the financially disciplined investors coupled with the insights and reach of a global corporate technology leader.

The objective of NGP Capital’s fund is to generate attractive financial returns while finding and investing in private companies that are strategically relevant to Nokia.

Over 40% of NGP Capital’s portfolio companies are either working with Nokia or have worked with it. The fund operates together with Nokia’s Innovation Framework strategy around 5G and will help Nokia to expand into new markets and ecosystems, which are complementary to the current business.

Bo Ilsoe, NGP Capital’s Managing Partner, commented: “Nokia has been an amazing partner for us over 17 years and we are grateful for the continued support. The new fund is the next step for NGP Capital and builds on the experience we have from investing since 2005. When we align these companies with insights from and access to Nokia, we believe it creates a winning combination. We believe that financially successful growth companies are in the best position to support Nokia strategically. ‘One needs to do well to do good’.”

NGP portfolio!

To date, NGP Capital has invested in 107 companies and has exited fully or partially from 62 investments. Currently, it holds a portfolio of 51 investments. Notably, 17 NGP Capital portfolio companies have attained unicorn status with a valuation of over $1 billion.

Since its debut, NGP has made over a dozen transactions per year either as new investments or follow-on investments in existing portfolio companies. NGP Capital portfolio companies exit through M&A transactions predominantly while the rest are through IPOs.

Some of the exited landmark investments include UC Mobile, a Chinese mobile services company acquired by Alibaba; Moovit, an Israeli mobility services company acquired by Intel for $900 million and Deliveroo, which a last-mile food delivery company among others. Also, its portfolio companies are from all over the world with 27% in Europe, 38% in the US and 35% in Asia.

Deploys AI!

NGP Capital to uses its proprietary AI-powered “Q” platform to find target companies to augment its investment portfolio. This platform scans and ranks more than 2 million companies around the world in the fund’s chosen investment areas on a continuous basis. There are currently around 700 growth parameters for each company and more being added all the time.

NGP Capital consists of a globally engaged team, operating across three continents to create value for its portfolio. NGP Capital’s seven global partners have over 200 years of technology and investment experience between them. The partners are supported by thematic teams, who review industry trends and investment

Also, the global fund has partnered with The Upright Project, a European organisation that assesses the societal impact of its investments. NGP Capital invests in companies that do no harm from a social, environmental, or governance perspective. In partnership with sustainability platform Worldfavor, it assesses prospective investments and portfolio companies using collected ESG data.

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