Ericsson Venture Partners, a $300 million venture capital fund, has been set up to target mobile Internet development. Formed by Ericsson, Industrivärden, Investor AB and Merrill Lynch, EVP will invest in mobile ventures and technologies – including network infrastructure, services and applications – focusing on Europe and North America.
“We expect more mobile than fixed Internet users by 2003, and this means an incredible demand for building out networks and creating new services,” said Kurt Hellström, president of Ericsson. “By joining the knowledge of these four venture partners, this initiative will provide a very strong drive for the creation of the mobile Internet.”
“As a holding company, we feel it is natural to seek growth in the rapidly growing mobile Internet segment,” said Clas Reuterskiöld, president of Industrivärden. “The wealth of experience offered by Ericsson Venture Partners will give interesting growth companies access to valuable support.”
“We are very much looking forward to being a part of the development of the mobile Internet industry in which we see enormous growth potential,” said Marcus Wallenberg, president of Investor AB. “A partnership like this is definitely in line with our strategy and further deepens and complements Investor’s existing activities in the area.”
“We are delighted with the opportunity to become a partner in this innovative new venture,” said David Komansky, chairman of Merrill Lynch. “We are confident the expertise of the venture partners will add significant value to new companies looking to target mobile Internet development.”
Each venture partner will commit USD 75 million, a total of USD 300 million. EVP will direct its activities from Stockholm and New York.
Ericsson provides solutions covering everything from systems and applications to mobile phones and other communications tools. The company has more than 100,000 employees in 140 countries.
AB Industrivärden is one of Sweden’s largest holding companies with a stock portfolio worth USD 8 billion. The company has sizeable holdings in Ericsson, Handelsbanken, Pfizer, SCA, Sandvik, Skandia and Skanska.
Investor AB is a long-term shareholder in a number of public multinational companies such as Ericsson, AstraZeneca and ABB. In addition, Investor has extensive global private equity operations with over USD 3 billion in assets in high growth sectors such as information technology, healthcare, education and financial services. Investor is based in Stockholm with offices in New York, London, Hong Kong, Amsterdam and Palo Alto.
Merrill Lynch is a financial management and advisory company with offices in 44 countries and total client assets of $1.8 trillion. As an investment bank, it is the top global underwriter and market maker of debt and equity securities and an advisor to corporations, governments, institutions, and individuals worldwide. Through Merrill Lynch Investment Managers, the company is one of the world’s largest managers of financial assets.