KaiOS Technologies, maker of KaiOS, a mobile operating system for smart feature phones, confirmed Orange’s participation in a recent Series B funding round led by Cathay Innovation.
According to Orange, this participation is a testament to both companies’ dedication to providing internet access and digital services to people across Africa.
The added participation of Orange in the Series B investment strengthens Kai’s leadership in the rapidly growing smart feature phone segment, in a market where 827 million people in Africa still have no access to the internet.
At Mobile World Congress in February 2019, Kai and Orange had announced Sanza – a smart feature phone integrating voice-recognition, long battery life and popular apps and sold for just $20 USD. The device is now 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.
Based on Kai’s collaboration with key telecoms operators such as Orange, KaiOS-powered devices are available in 22 countries across Africa. These devices not only provide traditional mobile phone services, but also access to apps such as the Google Assistant, Facebook and WhatsApp that help connect people and their communities.
Kai is working with independent app developers to offer localized content that meets the unique needs of the African region. Through the KaiOS Developer Portal, app developers can create their own content for KaiOS and have it published in the KaiStore.
Using KaiAds, content owners can monetize their apps and services on KaiOS, while brands have the opportunity to reach an entirely new segment of users with their ads.
The developer portal includes information, developer tools and best practices, to make the development process as easy as possible. The company also partners with local coding schools to provide workshops and training focused on local app development for KaiOS.