As the year draws an end, Nokia Growth Partners (NGP) has released a summary of all its deals that happened in 2014. The firm had deployed around USD 60 million capital globally and made exits from three firms- so it’s safe to say that this has been an active and eventful year for NGP.
In May this year, NGP announced raising a USD 100 million Connected Car fund to invest in auto tech and local services companies in collaboration with HERE, a Nokia company, to grow the ecosystem around HERE’s mapping and location products and services.
The Connected Car fund is the fourth fund that NGP has managed on behalf of Nokia over the past decade and extended NGP’s global investment activities in the U.S., India, China and Europe.
With USD 700 million under management, NGP aims to enable entrepreneurs to focus on developing their products and innovations. Started in 2005, having teams in the US, Europe, India and China, NGP makes early and later stage venture investments.
Here is a summary of its portfolio highlights, exits and investments done in 2014.
NGP had invested in UCWeb, Fyber and Network18 in 2010 & 2011 and this year, they have all left the nest.
UCweb – Acquired by Alibaba for a multi-billion dollar sum.
Fyber – Acquired by RNTS Media in Germany for USD 190 million.
Network18 – Acquired by Reliance Technologies in India for USD 680 million.
NGP Portfolio Highlights of the Year
Hipmunk partners with Yahoo and Yelp in the US: This year Hipmunk announced a deal with Yelp, the crowdsourced review site, to allow people to book hotels through Hipmunk without ever leaving the Yelp site. A week later it partnered with Yahoo, to allow travel bookings through Hipmunk on Yahoo’s website.
Zubie partners with O2 in Germany: Telefonica’s Teutonic arm, O2 Germany, has partnered up with Zubie to provide an O2-branded version of the quantified driving key device and service.
Ganji raises 200M: Chinese company GanJi, an online classifieds service, recently announced a new USD 200 million financing round from U.S.-based Tiger Fund and The Carlyle Group. The company has already raised nearly USD 200 million of financing in previous five rounds since its establishment in 2005.
Quikr hits 30 million users in India: Quikr with more than 30 million monthly consumer and small businesses users in over 1000 cities raised 60 million in 2014 to further accelerate growth, officially becoming the largest online classifieds platform in India.
Verve & RetailNext partnered in the US to combine the power of mobile location targeting and in-store technology. As leading experts in location-based targeting and in-store analytics, RetailNext and Verve now provide retailers using the technologies a full range of tools that enhance their ability to see how location-targeted mobile advertising is correlated to driving foot traffic and sales.
New Deals 2014
20 investments have been completed in total this year although a few still remain unannounced. Here are NGP’s investment highlights 2014 from Jan-Dec.
PubMatic USD 13M (US). PubMatic is a global technology platform that powers programmatic advertising for publishers and premium brands. Their technology is changing the advertising landscape and setting new standards for media buying.
Kaltura USD 47M (US) – An open source video technology revolutionizing the industry by providing organizations flexible and future-proof video solutions to fit their needs. Works with over 300,000 publishers worldwide.
Omnidrone (Spain) – Omnidrone is a game studio based in Barcelona developing mobile social games and tablet-first gaming experiences.
Meican USD 10M (China). An online food delivery platform serving enterprise customers. The service is available at more than 30,000 restaurants in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, serving tens of thousands of users daily.
Gigwalk USD 10M (US). A local visibility software platform that facilitates brand and retailer collaboration to drive in-store sales. Gigwalk activates the world’s largest network of mobile-enabled independent contractors.
Zubie USD 8M (US). Zubie is a mobile services company focused on maximizing connected car capabilities for consumers and businesses.
Wei Chai Shi (China) – China’s mobile marketplace connecting businesses to an on-demand mobile workforce who are incentivized to collect, capture, and report real-time data for brand clients.
Netpulse USD 18.6M (US) – The fitness industry’s first and only enterprise-level big data platform for engaging consumers across multiple touch points, in and out of the gym club.
Hipmunk USD 20M (US) – Meta-search travel site offering the most comprehensive travel search options in the US, from commercial flights, trains, and charter flights to hotels and vacation rentals.
Digital Lumens USD 23M (US) – A global supplier of enterprise-scale intelligent LED lighting to commercial and industrial customers, delivering 90% energy savings and granular building intelligence.]
Yplan USD 24M (UK) – A mobile-first event planning app with curated content and shortlists of the best events and happenings.
Follow-on financings 2014
RetailNext USD 30M (US) – Leader in real-time analytics that enable retailers and manufacturers to monitor, collect, analyze, and visualize in-store data offline, offering the same data capabilities that online retailers have.
Quikr USD 60M (India) – India’s largest horizontal classifieds company offering a web and mobile based classifieds platform that addresses a wide variety of local consumer needs.
InVisage USD 30M (US) – Silicon Valley-based company revolutionizing imaging though quantum film nano-technology.
Vizury USD 16M (India) – AdTech platform bringing brands closer to online markets capturing not just internet user eyeballs, but also their attention and imagination.
Image Source: NGP’s Website