Handset Manufacturers Expanding Venture Capital Fund Commitments

Nokia Growth Partners, the world's largest maker of cellphones, is stepping up a commitment to its venture-capital activities, underscoring its efforts to expand into new and adjacent businesses such as mobile music and video and location-based services. The Espoo, Finland, handset maker is increasing the amount of money in its Nokia Growth Partners investment arm and adding new management to oversee the fund. The $100 million fund, based in London and Menlo Park, Calif., invests in companies that are in the mid- or late-stage of financing and have a commercial product used by industry players such as Nokia. The move by Nokia comes as other cellphone giants, such as Motorola Corp. and Samsung Electronics, have been making greater strides in venture capital.

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