HMD Global, the home of Nokia phones, today announces it is acquiring assets of Valona Labs and launching a brand-new Centre of Excellence in Tampere, Finland. Combining HMD Global’s commitment to delivering secure, reliable and dependable mobile experiences with Valona Labs’ expertise in mobile, enterprise and cybersecurity software, the acquisition of assets will further build upon the company’s reputation as a global leader in smartphone software updates and security1.
The new Centre of Excellence in Tampere will specialise in software, security and services, propelling HMD Global’s transition from a purely hardware business, to a combined hardware and services company, diversifying its intellectual property and differentiating its unique go-to-market offering.
In March this year, HMD Global entered a new service category with the launch of its global data roaming service, HMD Connect, which enables people around the world to benefit from a hassle-free data SIM. Over the coming months, the centre in Tampere will concentrate on developing this service further and begin work on other services such as remote device locking, enterprise mobility management, mobile device software security, secure network communication and black box testing. There are also ambitions to expand the scope of the centre to include imaging and audio technologies in the future. The centre will create an immediate need to hire new technical talent in the region and will be led by the former award-winning Head of Unit for Valona Labs, Ari Heikkinen.
Juho Sarvikas, Chief Product Officer, HMD Global, says:
“As a company that believes every phone should be built upon the foundations of security, reliability and dependability, we are proud to announce the acquisition of assets of Valona Labs – a renowned and trusted mobile software business.
Nokia phones are known around the world for purposeful innovation and our pure, secure and up-to-date AndroidTM promise ensures people receive a smartphone experience that continues to get better over time. This is one of the reasons we maintain our position as leaders in fast OS updates. According to research from Counterpoint1, we are, in fact, the fastest brand, covering 94% of our portfolio. By bringing in assets from Valona Labs, we will be in a stronger position than ever to deliver on this promise and further build the trust of our fans, which is one of our core values as a business.
We pride ourselves on our Finnish roots and our premium Nordic design, which is why we’re delighted to be bringing this new Centre of Excellence to Tampere. Through the acquisition of these assets, we will lay the foundations of a R&D hub that will transform our business and the products we offer to our fans.”
Newly appointed Senior Director of Security and Enterprise Solutions at HMD Global, Ari Heikkinen adds:
“We have been working closely with HMD Global for quite some time and I’m excited to announce our collaboration today as we continue to strengthen our partnership. With this new Centre of Excellence, we are striking whilst the iron is hot. Cybersecurity incidents have been on the rise during this global pandemic, meaning there’s no better time to increase our efforts on mobile security.[ii]
Tampere is renowned as a destination for technological development, particularly in relation to mobile innovation. We look forward to leveraging the region’s expertise and will be exploring various collaboration opportunities with different companies in the area, as well as with Tampere University’s technology department. As we continue to expand, there will be an immediate need for fresh talent to join our ranks and I’m personally excited for the many opportunities this will bring for Finland in the future.”
Harri Ojala, Director, Investments and Global Operations at Business Tampere says:
“As an independent Finnish company and the only major European smartphone brand, we are delighted to welcome HMD Global and its new Centre of Excellence to Tampere. Tampere has already proved to be a place for new ideas and innovative thinking. I look forward to seeing this new centre thrive in this environment.”