Where Did Anssi Vanjoki Go After Nokia? To Play Golf

Things at Nokia (NYSE: NOK) may have not turned out as planned for Anssi Vanjoki, the former EVP of devices who had been the heir apparent to the CEO role until the big management shakeup last summer. But he is staying in the game — literally. Vanjoki has been named as an investor in GameBook, a Finnish golf-tech startup. He will also be joining the board.

GameBook develops a scoring system and social platform for the game of golf. It’s hoping to fill a niche in the market by delivering live stats and real-time game information to players while on the course, also letting them share those results with others.

Products that GameBook has rolled out since launching in 2010 include an iPhone app (yes! the irony!), a handheld device that is sold directly to golf clubs, and an online community that it calls the GameBook Clubhouse.

Vanjoki has some obvious expertise on both the device and mobile services side to offer to GameBook, and you could see how a product like this would appeal to those who like the stats-heavy game of golf, and how potentially such a system could be rolled out to other sports, too.

But as Vanjoki knows all too well, developing a device from the ground up, and without the economies of scale that large-scale ODMs can achieve, can be a daunting and very expensive process. So, too, is launching another golf app: there are dozens in Apple’s App Store alone — I lost count when trying to track how many, exactly.

The terms of Vanjoki’s investment were not disclosed in GameBook’s news release. Other investors include Veraventure, European Tour player Mikko Ilonen, Stanley Cup winner Teemu Selanne and Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) Design Award winner Elias Pietilä.