Android is the most-popular mobile operating system in the world by a significant margin, and the only other operating system that even comes close is iOS. Mozilla and Samsung have tried to challenge Google’s dominance over the mobile market with Firefox OS and Tizen, respectively, but it’s Sailfish OS, which is developed by a little-known company by the name of Jolla, that has drawn the most attention. Unfortunately, the Finnish company has run out of money to continue operating the way it has been, and now it’s being forced to restructure and cut its workforce in half. It’s unknown how this will effect the development of Sailfish OS, but Jolla claims that this is merely a temporary move.
Finnish alternative mobile OS startup Jolla is facing the situation startups dread the most: running out of financing to keep the business going in the way they’d like. Today the Sailfish OS maker said it is being forced to adjust its operations after failing to close a €10 million ($10.6M) Series C round within the required timeframe to keep up with its outgoings. Negotiations with the unnamed single investor for its Series C have been postponed, according to chairman and co-founder Antii Saaarnio. He tells TechCrunch he hopes the financing negotiations will start up again in December. “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.” Around half of Jolla’s staff will be laid off as the startup tightens its belt to make do in the interim — although it’s describing these as “temporary” job cuts, clearly hoping to be able to rehire once or if funding starts flowing again. It’s also filed for a debt restructuring program in Finland to ensure it can still keep operating during the funding gap. “We are of course hoping that these are temporary actions… And we are committed to continue the company but really this depends on the external investors as well, how are we able to continue operations,” Saaarnio adds.