The moment one talks about Finnish mobile phone makers, the name 'Nokia' immediately springs to mind. However, unbeknownst to most, another company from the Nordic country has been trying to gain a foothold in the world of smartphones for the last few years. That company of course, is Jolla, and it was created in the year 2011 by former Nokia employees, who either left the company or were let go by the telecom giant after rapidly losing market share to Android and iOS during its Symbian days. The company is headquartered in Helsinki, and has research facilities in Hong Kong, as per its official website. Jolla has been trying since its inception to get OEMs on board for its Linux kernel-based open source mobile operating system called Sailfish, and has thus far unveiled two devices – one smartphone and one tablet, both running the Sailfish OS.
Unfortunately for Jolla, it now seems as if it is struggling hard to keep its head over the water, as the company has now announced it will be cutting almost half of its workforce, in what is being described as a 'temporary' blip on the radar, after it was unable to close a â‚¬10 million ($10.6M) Series C round of funding from investors within the required timeframe. According to an interview granted to TechCruch by Jolla Chairman and co-founder, Mr. Antii Saarnio, "We were negotiating for three months for financing round, and of course we are a startup which is dependent on the external financing. In the final moments this financing round was postponed, still with one month — and this caused us to be forced to make this action".
He however says that the company is hoping to hire back its staff once it can arrange for new funding, but is under no illusion that it will be easy. He also said that he knows the value of the upcoming round of financing which simply has to go according to plan. According to him, "In order to keep fighting we need to close the December financing for sure. It's very important for the company. The Sailfish OS requires quite a big investment and human resources… And that's something we have difficulties to continue if we don't have additional financing, it's difficult to continue developing the operating system with these resources that we have at the moment".