Jolla fends off collapse with fresh finance deal

Jolla, the Finnish mobile company that developed the Sailfish operating system (OS), secured a new financing deal that pulled it back from the brink of collapse.

Antti Saarnio, Jolla's co-founder and chairman of the board, announced the company is back in business after it secured new financial backing that enabled it to close out a delayed series C funding round. In a blog post, Saarnio said the company had secured "solid new financing" that pulled it out of a "death valley".

The fresh investment "enables the continuation of Sailfish OS development, the community activities and other company operations," Saarnio said.

Part of those "company operations" will be to pursue fresh licensing deals for the Sailfish OS, a company statement revealed. The second iteration of the OS -- Sailfish OS 2.0 -- has already been released to Jolla's community, and the company is focused on striking partnerships for the OS with device makers in BRICS markets.

In his blog, Saarnio said Jolla is "concentrating strongly on India and Russia." The former offers a potential market of "over 100 million new smartphone users every year", and the company has "seen a lot of interest" in the platform from Russia that is "gradually moving into concrete projects".

The company is targeting partnerships with vendors that will invest in the R&D of Jolla's local market operations, with the company itself focusing on further development of the OS, and supporting licensees and app developers.

Jolla had been due to close its series C funding round in November, but announced at the time that its lead investor had pulled out at the eleventh hour. In an open letter to the Jolla community, Saarnio said that the funding round aimed to bring in around €10 million ($10.8 million).

The company said the failure meant it would have to lay off half its staff, sister publication FierceWireless reported.

Jolla made no reference to redundancies in its series C statement. However, Saarnio noted that the "company needs to adapt to the new situation, and is, therefore, working on a most efficient plan for the company and its partners for financing its longer-term operations."

For more:
- see Saarnio's blog post
- view Jolla's series C statement (PDF)
- read the November open letter

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