19 July 2019
French giant Orange has thrown its weight behind KaiOS Technologies by contributing to the Series B funding round led by Cathay Innovation.
The money will be used to promote and expand the phone operating system in new markets along with the introduction of new features. It is thought there are currently more than 100 million devices running on KaiOS in 100 countries.
“It’s partnerships such as this one with Orange that has made KaiOS the third leading mobile operating system with devices in more than 100 countries; further propelling us towards our goal of connecting the next billion users,” said Sebastien Codeville, chief executive officer of KaiOS Technologies.
Alioune Ndiaye, chief executive officer Orange Middle East & Africa, added: “Today the two main barriers to internet access are the lack of infrastructure, for which Orange is investing one billion euros per year, and the cost of the device. As part of our effort to overcome this second barrier, I am very pleased to have this opportunity to develop our partnership with Kai through a direct investment. Providing our customers with access to affordable devices is a crucial step in our ambition to democratise access to the Internet in Africa.”
At Mobile World Congress in February 2019, Kai and Orange launched Sanza – a smart feature phone integrating voice-recognition, long battery life and popular apps. The device is available for as little as US$20.