Jolla eyes e-commerce, digital content partnerships in Sailfish OS push

Jolla, a start-up Finnish device maker, will seek partnerships with digital content providers and e-commerce players to strengthen its Sailfish operating system (OS) after completing a series-B financing round and smashing its goals for crowd-funding of a new tablet PC.

Antti Saarnio, chairman of the Board at Jolla, said the company has raised a total of €34 million ($42.2 million) in financing following a recent series-B funding round, and will now invest in growing the ecosystem for its home-grown Sailfish OS.

"Although this is a sizeable funding for a start-up already, it is still a small amount considering the size of our mobile operating system agenda," Saarnio said, adding that Sailfish "is now ready for further international expansion, and we are looking for the right partners to join the Sailfish OS agenda and do that with us."

Potential partners include digital content providers and e-commerce companies, a Jolla press statement revealed. The company suggested e-commerce could become a key competitive advantage for Sailfish OS, noting that major rival Google's Android ecosystem is not designed for this sector and "will not easily transfer into such a platform."

Jolla was started by former Nokia employees and Sailfish is a development of the open source MeeGo platform originally developed by Nokia.

Saarnio said Jolla has "created a world-class operating system in a very short time and with extremely limited resources. Many big industry players have tried to do the same with at least five times bigger resources," than Jolla's team of around 100 people, he noted.

The board chairman adds that the company sees an opportunity to "shift from application-based mobile era into m-commerce based mobile era," and that Jolla is more of a software company than its existing smartphone and forthcoming tablet suggests. "[A]ctually 90 per cent of our efforts go to the software development...There are plenty of large device companies in the world, and we let them focus on the hardware business."

Despite Saarnio's focus on software, Jolla is now preparing to launch its first tablet PC after securing $1.82 million (€1.5 million) from a crowd funding campaign--almost five times more than its original target of $380,000--in the space of 21 days.

The company expanded its targets for the Jolla Tablet in late November, when it became clear that the amount it would raise from the crowd funding programme would exceed its target. At the time, Jolla said it would add capacity for a 128 GB MicroSDHC memory card to the tablet if funding hit $1.5 million, and a split-screen user interface at the $1.75 million mark.

However, the final amount raised falls short of the company's target to add HSDPA technology to the device, which it set at $2.5 million.

For more:
- see Jolla's funding announcement [PDF]

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