Smart feature phone operating system maker KaiOS Technologies has confirmed Orange’s participation in a recent Series B funding round.
The OS maker has noted that the added participation of Orange in the Series B investment strengthens its position especially in Africa, where 827 million people have no access to the internet.
“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.
“In 2019 and beyond, we look forward to developing even more innovative, localised solutions that bridge the digital divide in Africa and more.”
Commenting on this partnership, Alioune Ndiaye, CEO Orange of the Middle East & Africa, said, “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 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.”
Early this year, Kai and Orange announced Sanza, a smart feature phone with a long-lasting battery life up to 5 days, 3G+, Torch, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, combined with advanced smartphone-like functionalities. The device that is sold at around Kes.2000 currently available in Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso and Mali, and will be rolled out in other countries across Orange’s footprint in the coming months.
“KaiOS brings smartphone-like functionalities to affordable phones,” the company said.
Owed to KaiOS’ collaboration with telecoms like Orange, KaiOS-powered devices are available in 22 countries across Africa.
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