Jolla finally secures Series C funding

Jolla, the Finnish developer of Sailfish OS, said it had finally secured an elusive round of Series C funding. But it isn't saying how much money it raised.

The Linux-based Sailfish OS grew out of MeeGo, a platform Nokia (NYSE:NOK) abandoned a few years ago when it threw its weight behind Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT) Windows Phone. Jolla touted its OS as a viable alternative to Android earlier this year at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, where it unveiled a partner program and sought out deals with manufacturers.

But last month Jolla said it would have to lay off half its workforce after failing to secure a $10.6 million Series C round quickly enough. The company said at the time that it needed the money to keep pace with expenses.

Jolla Chairman Antii Saarnio told TechCrunch that the company had received the "first tranche" of the new investment, which he said was "sizable" and would stabilize finances. Saarnio declined to disclose how much cash was received, though, or who the investors are.

Jolla was founded in 2011 by former Nokia developers who had worked on MeeGo, and it shipped its first smartphone in Europe in late 2013. Before the latest funding round, it had raised a total of $50 million.

Like a handful of other operating systems -- including Ubuntu Touch, the now-defunct Firefox OS and even Windows Phone -- Sailfish OS has struggled mightily to steal market share from Android and iOS, the two dominant smartphone platforms.

"The mobile OS landscape is currently going through a very interesting phase," Saarnio said in Jolla's press release. "While many OS projects are fading, the need for alternative (operating systems) is strong…. We stand firm in the belief that the world needs an alternative mobile OS."

With the latest funding round, Jolla has bought at least a little time. But it will still need some distribution deals -- and almost certainly some more cash -- if it is to survive.

For more:
See this Jolla press release
See this TechCrunch report

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