Jolla to close new funding round 'within weeks'

The Finnish smartphone startup founded by ex-Nokians is closing in on another round of investment, according to its CEO.
Written by Jo Best, Contributor
Jolla's eponymous device, unveiled last month. Image: Jolla

Finnish smartphone startup Jolla is set to close a second round of funding.

The company, whose eponymous device is set to ship later this year, could sign up its second wave of investors within weeks, according to its CEO Tomi Pienimäki.

"Last week I was in presentations. Pretty much all I've been doing is presentations to investors," Pienimäki said. Jolla expects the second round of investment to be announced later this month.

Jolla has so far received funding both from Nokia's Bridge programme, which supports workers leaving the company to create their own startups, and China Fortune, which owns 6.25 percent of the company.

Jolla opened presales for the device earlier this year, following the launch of the SDK in April.

While the company's main target markets are Europe and China, so far preorders have been received from 118 countries, according to the CEO. However, he declined to reveal sales figures to date.

Jolla expects to start manufacturing in June, with preordered devices to reach consumers before the end of this year. No formal launch date has been announced, however, and hardware and software elements of the device could still change before it goes to manufacturing.

It will ship with a removable backplate known as the OtherHalf, a NFC-equipped cover that can change elements of the UI, such as look and feel, when attached to the device.

The Jolla device runs the company's Sailfish OS, which is based on the MeeGo OS that briefly featured among Nokia's smartphone OS range, appearing on the mayfly of smartphones, the N9.

As well as building its own devices, Jolla hopes to license the Sailfish OS to other manufacturers, likely in China.

Jolla's announced in October last year that companies in its Hong Kong-based Sailfish alliance were putting €200m in funding into the ecosystem, along with €10m of funding from Jolla itself.

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