PRESS: Jolla secures $12 million in financing + news roundup
Before we dive into this new press release, I’d like to briefly introduce myself. I’m Topias Vainio, an IT student from Finland. I’m your typical nerd interested in tech stuff and games and also a huge fan of Jolla and Sailfish. Some may already know me as the founder of Jolla Fan Club group on telegram where I usually hang out with my fellow fans. I actively post Jolla and Sailfish OS related news on twitter and my Jolla News Network channel on telegram. Besides tech stuff, I like learning Japanese and Korean and hoping to study Mandarin Chinese in the future. I’ve stepped in to fill the void now that James has his hands full as the new Jolla Community Manager. With that out of the way, let’s get on today’s topic.
This morning, Jolla announced in a press release that they have managed to raise $12 million dollars in financing for the development and licensing of Sailfish OS. The source of those investments was not announced but in a Digitoday interview with Antti Saarnio implied that many investors are from Russia and that both old and new investors have invested on this funding round. Jolla has also entered into an agreement with its main creditors and canceled its debt restructuring application in Finland. Sailfish OS development is already going full steam ahead with the 2nd early access release of Taalojärvi 126.96.36.199 update released last week and they’re in middle of interviewing for 3 out of 6 of their open positions. They’re still repairing the damages from their most recent death valley, but these announcements show a promising future for the company.
The Jolla tablet closure project is proceeding smoothly with shipments and refunds being well under way. Most seem to already have received their tablet – including me – and some have been refunded as well. As mentioned in Jolla’s previous blog posts, the refunds will be fulfilled in two rounds with the first round rolled out in April-May 2016 and next round one year after if their financial situation permits.
Jolla’s licensing deals seem to be proceeding well. Jolla also officially confirmed the Turing Robotics Industries partnership and Sailfish OS is already running fast on the Turing phone. Production for the Turing phone should begin in may and shipments are expected to be carried out in mid-June. The phone will run with a modified UI fancily named the Æmæth UI, which you may catch a glimpse on the image above. The photo seems to be old back when Turing phone was still running Android. The Jolla/Sailfish OS community at large and various news site have been very skeptical about the company with Steve Chao’s rapidly changing numbers, obscure details and shady background of the company, but recent developments show some promise. Intex Aqua Fish project is in its final phases and is set to enter the Indian market during the coming months. Intex’s end of April launch was missed and no new release date has been set at this time.
With these licensing deals plus the Fairphone and MiFone partnerships getting wind in their sails, Jolla has no need for their hardware business. Plans to split their operations into the hardware and software business have now officially been debunked by Antti Saarnio in the Digitoday article and all resources are now focused on further development and licensing of Sailfish OS. Sailfish OS is slowly gaining traction and interest towards the operating system is growing!
A new Sailfish OS developer and community program was also mentioned in the announcement. Not much was told about this program but Antti Saarnio said ”it includes a special device related treat for our fans”. Juhani Lassila also said in the Digitoday interview “The community has always been at the center of our operations and now we are making it more systematic”. What this mysterious community program will be we’ll find out in a few weeks. What do you think it will be? Share your thoughts on the comments below. All aboard the hype train!