After nearly a decade since its founding, Jolla — the company that created the Sailfish OS, an alternative to Android — has finally made a profit on its annual close. The company, which works with the licensing of mobile operating systems, registered a 53% increase in revenue in 2020, compared to the previous year.
According to information from TechCrunch, the year 2020 marked a turning point for Jolla’s business. Founded in 2011 by former Nokia employees who worked at MeeGo, the Finnish company even tried to break into the hardware business, launching some cellphones and a crowdfunded tablet.
In the beginning, investors invested more than 200 million euros to make it all happen. However, the project did not go forward in its entirety—currently, the revenue comes mostly through licensing software to other companies.
In addition, Jolla sells Sailfish X licenses to the end consumer. Sailfish X is therefore the “commercial” version of Sailfish OS, with it you can run some Android apps on Linux platforms.
Strong interest from the automotive industry
Recently, Jolla also launched a new product derived from the Sailfish OS — AppSupport, which as its name already delivers, offers standalone Android app compatibility for Linux platforms. This product does not require full system licensing.
According to the company, AppSupport aroused strong interest from automotive companies, which were looking for solutions to develop their smart products for cars without resorting to the shackles of Android Auto.
“Let’s say there’s been a lot of positive vibes in this industry over the past few years — newbies like Tesla have really rocked the industry, so traditional vendors need to think differently about how and what kind of user experience they provide in the cockpit,” he said. the co-founder of the Sami Pienimäk company.
For the executive, the result is a sign of maturity acquired over a decade: “Jolla is turning ten in October, so it has been a long journey. And because of that, we have continuously improved our efficiency and our revenue, which grew by more than 50% from 2019 to 2020. At the same time, the operation’s cost base stabilized very well, so that the sum of them resulted in a good profitability”.
Jolla also meets demand from governments
In addition to customers in the automotive sector, Jolla says it also meets the demand of governments that want an alternative to Google’s domains — and in a way that they can gain greater control by shaping the system to their needs. Russia was one of the first countries to embark on the business.
The company has also been growing stronger as more movements against US digital sovereignty emerge around the world — especially with sanctions on companies from other countries promoted during the Trump administration.
One case that became popular was the creation of Huawei’s HarmonyOS, another alternative to Android for smartphones. Regarding the system, Pienimäki doesn’t seem to fear competition. He says the launch of the platform is “further proof that there is an appetite in the market for something more than Android itself.”
Now, Jolla is undergoing a new round of funding with a target of 20 million euros to commercialize App Support and boost Sailfish licensing. The company assesses that there is potential for growth in Europe and in certain parts of Africa.
With information: TechCrunch