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Nokia Venture Partners Opens Korean Office
Posted: 11-Jun-2002 [Source: Nokia press release]

[Nokia Venture Partners opens office in Seoul and announces US$5 million investment in Korean based WiderThan.com.]

Menlo Park, Calif. and Seoul, S. Korea -- Nokia Venture Partners, a leading global venture capital firm focused on early-stage mobile technology companies, expanded its global presence with the opening of its office in Seoul and announced a $5 million investment in WiderThan.com, a wireless Internet solutions developer and services provider based in Korea. This move highlights the strategic importance of the growing mobile market in Asia Pacific and Nokia Venture Partners' commitment to this market.

Nokia Venture Partners began to explore the Asia Pacific region in 2001 after the company closed its second fund, totaling $500 million and launched business development efforts to assist existing Nokia Venture Partners portfolio companies pursue business opportunities within markets in Japan, Greater China, and Korea area.

"We recognize that the Korean market is playing an important role in shaping the future of mobility and is a very promising and growing market for mobile start-ups," said John Malloy, Partner, Nokia Venture Partners. "Our first investment in Asia, Korea's WiderThan.com, is a great example of the innovative companies that are looking for venture funding in the market. With the addition of our Seoul office, Nokia Venture Partners expands the value of its global reach and allows us to leverage our global footprint to promote the growth of mobile start-ups worldwide."

WiderThan.com was established in June 2000 to develop mobile Internet content, services and solutions that address the evolution of terminals and networks. WiderThan.com plans to use the capital for development and global marketing of its voiceXML related solutions, messaging applications and solutions, various wireless multimedia applications and mobile commerce applications.

"Nokia Venture Partners had reviewed various aspects of WiderThan.com, including core technology, global marketing capability, and precedents in advancing to other countries before making its decision to invest,' said Jinwoo So, CEO of WiderThan.com. "Combining Nokia Venture Partners' global reach with the advanced state of the Korean wireless market, Nokia Venture Partners will play a major role in bringing new technologies and business models to the global mobile market."

The Nokia Venture Partners office is located in the Teheran Valley in Seoul. The contact person for Korean office will be Kwan Yoon, Vice President, Korea, Nokia Venture Partners.

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