FIH increases revenue in Q1 2018 by 70%; Snags 7% of HMD Global

HMD’s manufacturing partner and investor FIH Mobile published this month their unaudited financial report (if we can call it that way) for the first quarter of 2018. In Q1 2018, FIH Mobile posted 3.28 billion dollars in revenue, which represents a growth of about 70% compared to Q1 2017 when the company posted 1.9 billion dollars in revenue. From a profitable quarter in Q1 2017, FIH Mobile’s net loss in Q1 2018 was 125.9 million dollars. Keep in mind that is an unaudited early report, and a much detailed report about the numbers (that may be slightly corrected) will be out soon.

FIH Mobile is owned by Foxconn, world’s leading manufacturing company, so a few quarterly losses while they are investing in the establishment of the manufacturing capabilities of new Nokia phones and other Chinese vendors will surely be tolerated. FIH Mobile also has 1.6 billion dollars worth cash and non-cash assets that secure the company’s stability.

As of recently, FIH Mobile became an investor in HMD Global, the maker of Nokia phones, via its wholly owned company Wonderful Stars. FIH technically doesn’t own 7% of HMD, worth around 70 million dollars, the sum they invested, but they purchased Convertible Preferred Shares that can later be exchanged for stock of the company if HMD, for example, does an IPO. Alongside FIH, two other companies also invested in HMD recently making their joint investment worth about 100 million dollars. These companies are DMJ Asia Investment Opportunit (around 0.3%) and Alpha Ginko (around 3.5%).

HMD proudly announced the new strategic investments and stated that their value exceeds a billion dollars, which makes them a “unicorn” start up. In 2017, HMD posted revenue of 1.8 billion euros with a net loss of 65 million euros, and shipped 70 million Nokia phones.

The current shareholders/owners of HMD are:

  • Smart Connect Investment S.a.r.l.
  • Asia-IO Special Opportunity 1, L.P
  • Asia-IO Special Opportunity 1 Annex, L.P

while the investors include:

  • Wonderful Stars
  • DMJ Asia Investment Opportunity Limited
  • Alpha Ginko Limited

I tried, but failed to find using the available data on the internet more info about these companies/funds. They are mostly registered in Luxemburg and Cayman Islands, with the exception of Wonderful Stars from Singapore. Interesting or not, FIH Mobile owns 30% of Asia-IO Special Opportunity 1 Annex, L.P, one of HMD’s shareholders. The only person mentioned behind some of these funds is the man managing Smart Connect and Ginko, former Nokia VP and CPO Jean-Francois Baril.

Mr. Baril can also be found on HMD’s official pages (something I didn’t see before), and he carries the title founder and director. A quite impressive CV of Mr. Baril that can be found on follows down below.

Jean-Francois Baril is Founder and Director of HMD Global since 2016 when the company was established to create a new generation of Nokia-branded devices. Between 2012 and 2016 he founded and led consultancy Connecting Partners SA, venture capital firm Ginko Ventures and Smart Connect, a venture capital fund that targeted the Telecoms sector.

After studying mechanical engineering at École Nationale Supérieure d’arts et Métiers in Paris and Stanford University in California, Jean-Francois began his career as a Research Engineer in 1981 in his native France. He then spent two years as Operations Manager for oilfield services giant Schlumberger moving on to lead the Supply Chain for the PC Division at Hewlett-Packard from 1984 until 1994.

Jean-Francois became Procurement Director at Compaq in 1994 where he worked under the direct leadership of Apple CEO Tim Cook, before being hired into Nokia Corporation in 1999 as Senior Vice President and CPO.

Under his leadership, Nokia’s supply chain was recognized in 2007 by AMR Research as the best in the world. Jean-Francois also won a 2010 EIPM-Peter Kraljic Award for Excellence for Organisation of the Year.

Source: FIH Mobile Investor page