Funding for startups

Nokia Shells Out for Windows Phone Development

Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) announced on Wednesday plans to invest in a new fund, called Vision+, in an effort to encourage application development for its Windows Phone platform. (See Nokia Teams with Vision+ Fund.)

Nokia will be the anchor investor in Vision+, but financial details about Nokia's contribution as well as how much the fund will have to invest were not initially disclosed.

Nokia claims Vision+ has a new venture-funding model, whereby investments are made into product development projects and, through collaboration with Nokia, support is provided to commercialize those products and get them to customers more quickly. Developers will keep their intellectual property and Vision+ will share in the product revenue.

The fund will target apps and games development for Nokia's Windows Phone platform. And it will focus on the following areas: converged gaming, entertainment and education, and preventative healthcare and "wellness." In the future, the fund may expand into other industries, such as products for clean water and energy.

Vision+ will be led by 21-year Nokia veteran Tero Ojanperä, who announced his resignation on Wednesday as executive vice president and member of the Nokia Leadership Team. As of Sept. 30, he will become managing partner of the Vision+ fund. (See Nokia Exec Resigns.)

Why this matters
Nokia needs to put its weight into encouraging applications development for Windows Phone, and offering venture funding is one way to achieve that. But Nokia's plan is not just about throwing money at developers. In addition to providing some financial muscle to developers, the new fund and strategy also offers Nokia's know-how, and that's valuable too.

But, without knowing how much Nokia actually plans to invest in these Windows Phone projects, it's difficult to gauge the significance of this development.

For more
Here's a recap of Nokia's efforts to gain a footing in the smartphone market since it teamed up with Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT):

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile

joset01 12/5/2012 | 4:55:01 PM
re: Nokia Shells Out for Windows Phone Development

Yeah, interesting half-way camp between a kind of open-source and the closed shop approach.

Gabriel Brown 12/5/2012 | 4:55:00 PM
re: Nokia Shells Out for Windows Phone Development

From a quick read through, I can't really see what the deal is here.

Is it a complicated way to pay developers to develop for your platform? Nokia is expert in that.

Why would a developer get involved in this?

Michelle Donegan 12/5/2012 | 4:54:58 PM
re: Nokia Shells Out for Windows Phone Development

The announcement was short on details, that's for sure. I'd like to know how much Nokia is going to invest, for one thing.


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