Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Orange commits to reducing Africa's digital divide, with KaiOS investment

By Chris Kelly, Total Telecom
Friday 21 June 19

Orange and KaiOS are set to build on their partnership, which saw the pair launch the Sanza smartphone handset at MWC 2019

Orange has made a significant investment in pan African app and operating system developer, KaiOS Technologies, as the pair look to build on their recent partnership. KaiOS raised $50 million from a number of investors at a recent series B funding round…

Orange has made a significant investment in pan African app and operating system developer, KaiOS Technologies, as the pair look to build on their recent partnership.

KaiOS raised $50 million from a number of investors at a recent series B funding round, led by Cathay Innovation.

“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 a 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,” said Alioune Ndiaye, CEO Orange Middle East & Africa.

Earlier this year, the pair announced the release of Sanza, a low cost, smartphone handset, designed specifically for consumers in Africa's emerging markets. The handset delivers long battery life and access to a range of popular handsets, for the ultra-low price of$20 per handset.  

KaiOS says that its partnership with Orange will allow it to significantly scale up its operations and expand into new markets.

“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, CEO of KaiOS Technologies.?

“In 2019 and beyond, we look forward to developing even more innovative, localized solutions that bridge the digital divide in Africa and more,” he added. 

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