Finland-based global telecom networks and IT company Nokia Corp (ADR)(NYSE: NOK) acquired French consumer electronics startup Withings SA, a “leader in the connected health revolution,” for EUR 170 million ($191 million) in cash. The move will accelerate Nokia’s entry into the digital health market.

The deal is expected to close in early Q3 2016, subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.

Nokia, once the world’s leading cellphone maker, sold off its mapping services last year after shedding its ailing handsets division to Microsoft, AP said. Last year, it acquired French company Alcatel-Lucent in a EUR 15.6 billion deal to become a leading global networks provider.

“We have said consistently that digital health was an area of strategic interest to Nokia, and we are now taking concrete action to tap the opportunity in this large and important market,” said Rajeev Suri, president & CEO of Nokia.

“With this acquisition, Nokia is strengthening its position in the Internet of Things in a way that leverages the power of our trusted brand, fits with our company purpose of expanding the human possibilities of the connected world, and puts us at the heart of a very large addressable market where we can make a meaningful difference in peoples’ lives,” Suri added.

World Health Organization figures show cardiovascular disease as the number one cause of death, with more than a billion adults around the world living with uncontrolled hypertension. Diabetes now affects more than one in twelve adults worldwide, a four-fold increase since 1980. Healthcare is expected to be one of the largest vertical markets in the Internet of Things, with analysts forecasting that mobile health, with a CAGR of 37%, will be the fastest growing health care segment from 2015-2020.

“Withings shares our vision for the future of digital health and their products are smart, well designed and already helping people live healthier lives,” said Ramzi Haidamus, president of Nokia Technologies. “Combining their award-winning products and talented people with the world-class expertise and innovation of Nokia Technologies uniquely positions us to lead the next wave of innovation in digital health.”

Withings was founded in 2008 by chairman Eric Carreel and CEO Cedric Hutchings, and is headquartered in Issy-les-Moulineaux, near Paris, France, with approximately 200 employees in France, Cambridge, Mass., and Hong Kong.

In July 2013 Withings had raised $30 million in a Series B funding round from Bpifrance, Idinvest Partners, 360 Capital Partners, and Ventech, which had previously invested $3 million in a Series A round in 2010.

“Since we started Withings, our passion has been in empowering people to track their lifestyle and improve their health and wellbeing,” said Cédric Hutchings, CEO of Withings. “We’re excited to join Nokia to help bring our vision of connected health to more people around the world.”

Withings’ portfolio of regulated and unregulated products includes activity trackers, weighing scales, thermometers, blood pressure monitors, home and baby monitors, and is built on a sophisticated digital health platform, providing insights to empower people to make smarter decisions about their health and wellbeing. Withings’ own products are complemented by an ecosystem of more than a hundred compatible apps.

Withings will become part of Nokia’s Technologies business. “The combination of innovative products from Withings and the Digital Health business will also ensure the ongoing renewal of Nokia Technologies’ world class IPR portfolio,” Nokia said in a statement.

Nokia Technologies, formed in 2014, is Nokia’s advanced technology and licensing business, built upon the company’s solid foundation of industry-leading licensing and technology R&D capabilities. The division focuses on digital health, digital media, brand licensing, and patent licensing.. In 2015, Nokia Technologies launched OZO, the world’s first virtual reality (VR) camera designed for professionals.

Nokia is a global leader in the technologies that connect people and things. Powered by the innovation of Bell Labs and Nokia Technologies, the company is at the forefront of creating and licensing the technologies. With state-of-the-art software, hardware and services for any type of network, Nokia is uniquely positioned to help communication service providers, governments, and large enterprises deliver on the promise of 5G, the cloud and the Internet of Things.

Nokia Group is a Finnish multinational communications and information technology company, founded in 1865. Nokia is headquartered in Espoo, Uusimaa, in the greater Helsinki metropolitan area.



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