Finnish cell phone giant Nokia launched its mobile file-sharing Ovi application last week, coming quickly on the heels of the rollout of Nokia Music and other high-profile offerings. Much like Google and its Android and Chrome products, Nokia used technology that it acquired to form the core of its recently launched products. Specifically, its file-sharing technology came when it picked up Avvenu late last year.
And more M&A may be in the cards. Nokia recently told us that it is bullish on making further acquisitions to boost its service offerings. The company is aiming to evolve from strictly a mobile handset maker to a service-oriented handset maker – and strategic acquisitions are expected to play a big role in this transformation. (Of course, Nokia isn’t the only hardware company looking to do deals to get out of its core commodity market and into a more profitable – and defensible – service offering. PC maker Dell has spent some $2bn over the past two years increasing its service portfolio, buying companies offering everything from storage to email archiving to remote services.) What services could Nokia look to add and what companies might it acquire to do so?
With its music, games and mapping services well established, Nokia’s lack of a video service is strikingly curious. We suspect the company will quickly move to fill this gap. Two potential targets come to mind. Startups kyte and Qik both specialize in mobile video, and have already gotten a lot of interest from big mobile companies. In fact, kyte has drawn money not only from large telcos such as TeliaSonera, but also from Nokia’s own investment arm, Nokia Growth. Another venture that was recently brought to our attention is a startup called ZoneTag. It’s a Yahoo Labs startup that does location-based photo tagging. The software was developed for Nokia phones with the support of Nokia research and we hear the two divisions have a very good relationship.
Nokia’s recent mobile software acquisitions
Source: The 451 M&A KnowledgeBase *Official 451 Group estimate