RealTime IT News

Nokia Venture Partners Rebrands, Reloads

Nokia Venture Partners changed its name to BlueRun Ventures and raised a new $350 million fund to back startups, the Menlo Park, Calif., firm announced today.

"[The name change] is to better reflect what we are -- an independent, globally focused [return-on-investment] fund," Gina Bauman, a BlueRun spokeswoman, told internetnews.com.

Cell phone giant Nokia remains the largest investor in the new fund, but will contribute less than 50 percent of the total. Other institutional investors will make up the rest.

BlueRun will continue to target early-stage consumer electronics, IT and mobile startups. Initial backing will range from $2 million to $8 million.

Among the firm's recent investments are storage specialist Anthology Solutions, mobile media company Enpocket and VoIP service provider SunRocket.

The investment fund was founded in 1998. In addition to its Menlo Park headquarters, it has offices in Helsinki, Finland; Herzelia, Israel; London; New Delhi; Seoul; Shanghai; Tokyo; and Washington, D.C.

BlueRun's new fund announcement comes two weeks after another fund with mobile telecommunications ties unveiled plans to boost investments this year.

Amid growing demand for new wireless technology, Motorola Ventures said it expects its investments in startups to top $100 million this year.

Motorola's anticipated boost is driven by several factors, including more attractive opportunities in IP and other technologies, as well as an improved corporate balance sheet.