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A new strategic investor joins the Sailfish family

Ahoy Sailfish fans and followers,

Sailfish OS has come a long way, starting with the MeeGo times, then carried by Jolla ever since 2011. The journey has had its ups and downs, as these kind of things typically have, but we never gave up. I recommend to check out e.g. this recent article about the journey. The most important thing that has kept us going together with our community and partners all the time is simply that we have the ability to create and offer together an alternative mobile operating system for the world.

Next chapter in this story is about to begin as we’re getting Rostelecom, a publicly listed company and the leading telecommunications company in Russia, to officially join our wide international group of Sailfish partners.

Rostelecom will join as a strategic investor to make Sailfish development even stronger. The company brings a lot of muscle to the Sailfish projects in Russia with their extensive Go-To-Market capability, R&D and resources to invest to native Sailfish apps development. We are confident that our cooperation will bear a lot of fruit for all uses of Sailfish OS around the world. The development of Sailfish gets into a new gear, as we need to keep developing a solid and strong mobile OS core for all our partners around the world. We also need to answer to the requirements of many existing and new customers in the regions.

Sailfish OS is the only mobile operating system with a regional licensing strategy, and this combined with the open and transparent platform, makes it ideal for countries around the world to pursue their own, independent digital ecosystems. We have strong development ongoing for the Chinese and Latin American markets, and we expect to see a lot of new and exciting products rolling out with Sailfish OS during this and next year. This international business expansion will continue rigorously also with the support of Rostelecom now joining as the next strategic investor to Sailfish OS.

Your Jolla captain,
Sami

Sami Pienimäki

CEO & Co-founder of Jolla Ltd. Opportunistic entrepreneur, loves family, skiing and cars.

 

96 Comments

  1. hmm, this means nothing to me as i dont live in Russia tbh

    just give me a working device please

    the rest is fluff at this point!

    • “We are confident that our cooperation will bear a lot of fruit for all uses of Sailfish OS around the world.”
      answer is in the post.

      • exactly…….FLUFF!

  2. On the face of it, more investment sounds like good news, but does Rostelecom investment impact Jolla stance on creating an independent OS? E.g. Jolla blog last year spoke of Chinese devices were due to launch now.

    And will community still be important?

  3. Putin!!!

    Will this news affect the speed of refund?

  4. I am sorry to say, but I have my doubts about this. I can imagine that Jolla Sailfish needs a reliable investor and that this in a way is a life saving solution for Jolla. Nevertheless I am not convinced that Russian politics is reliable ( nor the American at yhe moment). And I would have preferred a European investor. Let’s hope for the best.

    • +1
      Europe is whining every week about GAFA being too powerful, but does nothing to really challenge them, only some taxes and fines once in a while. Sad.

      Otherwise, the anti-theft light is turned on on the dashboard. Is it a way to tell that the OS is not really secure yet? :D

      • No, this is not right. The EU does a lot more than most other countries do. Vestager is working hard with her team and it really is not so easy to fine Google, Apple, etc. Google’s legal advisers very smart abd very expetienced. But last year the EU succeeded. And this is the beginning of more.
        The EU also subsidises many innovative companies. I just wonder if Jolla ever tried to get a fund from the EU.

    • Russian money have kept jolla alive for a while now so basically I do think jolla is basically owned by Russia since last round. So nothing new here really. A tight connection to Russia is nothing new. Not sure about jolla definition of independent or if they have given up that idea. Anyhow. It’s good with something else than android and iOS.

  5. Russia is not a democracy and is known for violations of human rights. It is a known strategy of the state to take control of Russia-based companies when the “national interest” so demands.

    What are the implications of Russia based companies getting so much foothold on Sailfish? I think the concern related to this is justified and should be addressed somehow.

    • LOL, another brain-dead Russophobe.
      Go buy an iPhoid.

      • I am an active member of Amnesty International since 1979.
        Russia has never been a democracy and freedoms have always been suppressed. We wrote for many, many cases, many persons and most Russians do not even read or hear about this. People just disappeared.
        Go and read Goelag Archipel by Solzjenitsyn, documentary books by Vojnovitsj, Lidia Tsoekovskaja and many others. And now, with Putin, economy is better than before, but there still is no real democracy. Don’t fool me please.

        • Error: it was 1976 when I became a member of AI. Invite you all to do that too.

        • Gulag Archipelago – written by a “Russian Nationalist”. He would be quite happy with the Russia that now exists, an autocratic/oligarchic capitalist state with neo-imperialist pretentions. Nothing radically different to any western power. There is certainly little social difference, apart from a worryingly fascistic outlook, classic in an unsophisticated and largely ignorant electorate. What is real democracy? I haven’t seen any and I live in the UK, which is an oligarchic capitalist state with a proprietorial media.
          The Russians are governed by gangsters, we are governed by the robber barons, there is little distinction, except perhops in sophistication.

      • LOL, another brain-dead Vatnik.
        Go buy an putinka.

    • Yes. That is my question exactly. We have a saying: whose bread you eat, whose word you speak. We all know it has been difficult for Jolla, but we should have the right to know how independent Jolla now is.

      • what is the review process, who can see what goes in, are there propiertary blind spots, that could be injected to sailfish Os and somehow distributed to other than “russian” target devices? I would guess not, since we have a history with Russia, but it’s a fair question.

        • Also having access to src means they could potentially spot exploits and use those. By they I ofcourse mean the government or very talented hackers government has “aquired.” Russia has it’s awesome side too, not necessarily bad thing and all open source is open for spotting exploits, so nothing new there I guess… it’s the propriertary code that makes one wonder… can we see what goes in?

    • Не волнуйся! У нас всё нормально с демократией! В России очень много поклонников старой Nokia. И своими инвестициями Ростелеком поддержит Jolla! Это поможет развитию Sailfish OS)))
      Do not worry! Everything is fine with democracy! In Russia, a lot of fans of the old Nokia. And Rostelecom will support Jolla with its investments! This will help the development of Sailfish OS)))

      • “Everything is fine with democracy! In Russia,”

        sure

  6. I feel the dangerous times are over, and acceleration to a valid 3 party mobile platform is approaching. Good job jolla!

  7. “Rostelecom acquires Sailfish, mobile operating system developer”
    Copied from Rostelecom’s site’s news.
    Now, I don’t know the whole picture of this… but that headline is not exactly positive news..

    • Rostelecom bought 75% of Open mobile platform and 75% of Votron. Both are Jolla’s majority shareholders.

      • To clarify: Rostelecom said they acquired OMP, who is holding the majority of “Sailfish OS Russia”. I wasn’t able to find any evidence of OMP holding any stock of “Jolla Oy”. Rosteleocm also acquired Votron who seems to hold about 10% of “Jolla Oy”.

        So unconfirmed, I’d say.

        • OMP is owned by Votron. Votron has 9.74% of Sailfish Holdings.

          • Okay. That would mean that Rostelecom is now indirectly holding a minority (not a majority) of Jolla.

            • The Rostelecom press release, in Russian, implies they have a controlling stake in SailfishOS. They make distinction between RUS version. So appears they do have a majority stake in Jolla.

              • I know, but that doesn’t quite fit the data I found. Other news sources I found only claim that Rostelecom now owns the russian version of SailfishOS, not Sailfish as a whole. I suspect the press release was written by marketing, not finance, which would explain the inaccuracy (if it is one).

                • Rostekekom owns Sailfish OS Rus now and owns part of Jolla

    • Rostelecom now owns “Sailfish OS RUS”, the Sailfish variant for Russian market.

  8. Typo:
    ” that we the ability to create”
    should probably be:
    ” that we have the ability to create”

    • Thanks Filip. I just fixed that!

  9. https://www.rostelecom.ru/en/ir/news/d443013/
    Excuse my ignorance by I am not quite sure what it means when it says: ” .. securing a controlling stake in Sailfish Mobile OS RUS.” Seems like there is a subsidiary for a Russian version of the OS? Or does it mean that they have a controlling stake in the “entire” OS?

    • Rostelecom acquired ~9% of Jolla’s parent company Sailfish Holdings.

  10. Does this mean you will finally start selling batteries for Jolla or what?

    • if you want batterie for your Jolla 1 smartphone, have a look at JuBaTec, I used their replacement in my smartphone and am happy with it.

      • The site seems to be in german, so doesn’t really help me.

        • You can buy them through ebay or something. Don’t be so helpless.

  11. Please, let this lead to a focus on the design. The start-up quick-fix with ambiance and the icons need rework.

  12. ok, nice – when give you my money back?!?!?!

    still waiting for secound part of refund

  13. Russia is a dictatorship
    they attacked Ukraine first
    they have now poisoned another person

    How can you cooperate with such a regime?

    do not you think that they are looking for an alternative to an android to follow their citizens? Americans do it for profit, they are ideologies

    Putin, the democratic president for the fifth term after the change of the constitution?

    • You are either retarded, or from Ukraine.
      Try reading something besides Western propaganda bullshit for a change.

      • Persons are not retarded when they have another opinion or simply other knowledge about a subject. Western countries do not need propaganda at all. They are so popular that many people from abroad want to live there. That is also why we have many immigrants and why people flee from suppressed regimes to the West. The West is attractive because it has many freedoms that other countries do not have.

        • In Russia, too, everything is fine!

      • I take it your choice is Russian propaganda?

      • Ukrainians have no need to read propaganda, they can see russian aggression on own eyes, same as Georgian, Moldova, Afghanistan, Chechnya people saw before. Only russian Ivan sitting in-front of TV eating all the propaganda crap about “there is no russian army”.

      • I am Ukrainian, so what? I can make my own opinion, from western as from russian mass media. And the picture doesn’t looks good. Russia is in the big Ass now…

  14. Is Sailfish “open and transparent platform” for whom? Definitely is not for us, Tablet backers!
    Any cooperation with Russia I seen only proven unfairness.
    Seems Jolla is sold already!

    Not a problem… soon https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Fuchsia will be the most popular in the automotive and mobile world! a true open source and RTOS.

  15. Well, companies are built to earn money.
    I’m not too happy too this new investor is from Russia. I’d prefer it would be from the EU. But it’s not Jolla’s fault, european companies seem not to be willing to back up an (european) alternative to Android and co.
    So I’m quite fine with russian investors – as long as they don’t hold the mayority of Jolla.

    In the end it’s good news to me. I hope Jolla and with it sailfish will grow and envolve.

  16. Update to my comment / clearification:

    You’ll find
    “A few days ago, the Finnish company Jolla, which control is also passed to the “Rostelecom”, reported that it continues work on the operating system, and introduced its third version.”

    on

    https://newsworld.co/rostelecom-bought-the-operating-system-sailfish/

    This … answered my question about holding the mayority.

    I’d appreciate some official Jolla statement here.

    • Nope.

      All sources claiming that Rostelecom now controls Sailfish OS are in turn based on one single source, namely the very press release by Rostelecom we discussed above. The problem being that said press release is at least partially inaccurate.

      We do NOT know for certain whether Rostelecom is in full control of Jolla, or just a minority shareholder. Considering Jolla being fully controlled by any other company would be a big deal (no matter which one), an official statement would be appreciated.

    • Hi Saja!

      I just left our official statement as a comment down here. Take a look!

  17. @Sami Pienimäki and @James Noori,

    Can you please make a blogpost about the coming security levels in SailfishOS and the privacy issue that a lot of sailors have now with the official Russian(and Chinese) connection?

  18. There is a lot of worry due to the lack of clarity. I hope that Rostelecom (Russia’s state company) does not own the controlling interest of Jolla OY and Sailfish OS. For me it would be worse than Google/Android policy, and I would consider going to Android, in spite how much I like Sailfish UI, and dislike Android UI.

    The work and efforts to defend digital privacy and freedom carried by EFF and other activists’ focuses mainly on mainstream OS’es and applications, and might not be sufficient to cover the niche applications. Would the Sailfish community alone be capable to spot the privacy breaches in the OS/applications if they were introduced?

    I am not against the cooperation with Russian state company, while the control is in the Jolla’s (Finnish) hands.

    • Hi! Thanks for your comment.
      If you look at my latest comment under this post (not a reply) you can get clarification and answer to many of your concerns. Thanks!

  19. Can we receive the refund that we have left soon? How many more years do we have to wait?

  20. Hey everyone, please don’t start another good guy bad guy discussion about Russia, US, China, …. every gouvernement has a habit of wanting access to peoples data for one reason or the other … the Europeans are not excluded …
    I’m more concerned about major companies involved as they always have their very own agenda (as we all learned and suffered from several times) – I know Jolla needs the money but it seldom turns out good for the partners in long term when major players are stepping in …
    I hope the very best for Jolla, please try to keep independent and small and (partly) community based …

    • Jolla has left this blog as a one way channel, left the refund 4 month behind. This is pure speculation but I wouldn’t be supriced if many sailor jumping ship when when the jolla submarine entering Russian waters.

      What happened with James? I hope he is doing well whatever he is doing nowdays

      • Hi Dave, I’m around. I have said times and times that we will update you on the refund status when we have news. As of now, there are no news to inform you about, hence no updates on the matter.

    • Hi! Thanks for your comment. I just left a comment on the bottom of this blog post which will address a lot of your concerns.

  21. Since there has been ownership related questions, here’s some clarification:

    After the investment, Rostelecom is the largest individual shareholder in the investment company Sailfish Holding Ltd. (Hong Kong) but does not own majority in Jolla Ltd. (Finland). The development of Sailfish OS has always been an international project and the company has an international shareholder base. The Sailfish family includes significant shareholders e.g. from China, and developing the company’s regional licensing strategy requires international ownership. And also, for the sake of clarity: Open Mobile Platform is not a shareholder neither in Sailfish Holding or Jolla Ltd.

    • Thanks for this clarification! Given the opportunity of this reply on a completely different subject, any chance of making the cool Sailfish 3 T-shirts available? :)

      • Stay tuned for that ;)

      • And what about Sailfis Rus and the other Sailfish, or will there only be one?

  22. Hi James!
    Big thanks for your reply. With this additional information the whole story with the new investor is really great news! Congrats!

  23. Hi James,

    great news so far. So i hope there is also money to let the jolla crew grow again.

    I have a sugestion for the Blog to keep us “excited”. You could make some series of posts presenting the concepts, ideas or devs comments and “sneaks” into the 3.0 features like the new calendar app workflow, or mail app capabilities or something like that. Like a development blog. That would be great :-)

    Keep on sailing, wind seems to be good at the moment ;-)

  24. So Sami Pienimäki can you confirm please that this new investor ranks after those who await tablet refunds in terms of claims on the Jolla assets? Given this new investment can you confirm please that all tablet contributers will be repaid in full immediately from the refunds? Thank you.

    • @ninepine: a)Investors pay money, they don’t take it away (hence the name). b) You don’t have a claim, so you don’t need to worry about ranks.

      • Of course we do. You have to concider all the things jolla said and guaranteed since campaign was launched until now.

  25. Hello! I live in Russia! We (the Russians) do not pay attention to embittered people who do not know anything about our country. But I do not understand one thing … why do not you allow our citizens to use the distribution of the project “X”?

    • Hello Sergoon, let me be clear: when there is discussion here about Russia, it is about the state and the system, not about the Russians. All people from all countries happen to have the same desires, the same wishes and dreams: peace and freedom. Russia has a great culture, great musicians, dancers, master pianists, scientists, etc. But if someone says that Russia is a democracy, we have to oppose. And despite not being a democracy, people still manage to live as good as they can in a brave way.

  26. Looking forward hear also other good news in equipment horizon :) :) as a result from investor news. Go Jolla go!

  27. I’m a Russian, and I’m sorry to hear this. I wait nothing good from a state owned, government (i.e. FSB) controlled company in the Russian Federation. This is bad news if such a company will have an impact on decision-making in Jolla.

  28. and again still not a word about the refund.
    Do you guys really think we give up ?

  29. It is better to share the loss with Jolla. Only asking for half of the refund. And then try to forget it. We all know now that digital businesses generally are tricky and vulnerable, despite all the nice intentions and promises. Secure is what you can feel in your hands. So everyone, including me, did a kind of a gamble. And it is a disappointment for us and for Jolla as well.

    • That is exactly what I’ve done. Trying to help jolla with the refund.

      • But even so jolla don’t refund us.

  30. Every couple of weeks I tune in to see what’s happening. Surprise surprise – Dave999 still bitching about the tablet refund. Jolla has always been like betting on a one horse race – still not guaranteed to win because it could fall over. Tech is a brutal game and it needs money / backers to become successful. James has probably been sitting on your refund cheque for years because you are such a PITA.

    • good, then let James carry on sitting on the cheque!

      the longer Jolla doesn’t cough up then the longer you can carry on tuning in and getting angry at dave999′s comments

      (i think that is pretty HILARIOUS!)

      :D

      • I’m really tired of those comments. If they are sure about their claims, they can sue. Instead they pollute all fora thus punishing the entire community. Blocking them would be an act of environmental protection.

  31. So where is the rest of the Tablet refunds?

    Have not bought any further Jolla products since that fiasco. And shut down my companies purchase of such. And recommend to others against it. Still waiting for the refund.

  32. I got half of my refund ages ago – told Jolla they can keep the rest – going to a good cause.

  33. I’m still waiting for 2nd half refund and am fed up with not getting any news. Money is spent elswhere – shows etc so it must be available.

    Question – how manyidividual contributers are still waiting for Jolla to refund their contributions?

  34. Jolla has money to sponser shows etc but not to refund Tablet investers.

    Well how about refunding in lieu of sponsering

  35. We would like news about refund programm !

  36. New strategic investor? Hope this means you will have more money to paid the remaining refunds for the Jolla Tablet…

  37. Hi all, i am russian…
    With jolla from n9…
    Tbh i am surprised that Rostelecom made such choice, however, Jola need money as to this point, we have no working headset and OS still in “beta” state. Compete with ios and undroid very difficult and Jolla need money to smooth all the glitches. selling OS as is, is very small market share, most users like to go to the shop and buy ready to use phone, only small groupe of people prepare to dig into all deapth of discovery… not all of them want to pay, unfortunately…

    We (or speaking for myself) need working OS, native apps (enough only common ones, no need to made a lot) and headset… high quality headset… for all this u need money… u fight with large corporations! regardles the fact that they OSs are not as good as SFOS… but ordinary people still use android/ios.

    Now cons…
    Russia is still have a huge lag in terms of peoples level of IT, and despite the fact that there are a lot of bright young developers, top level still “old school” this may be a rough corner… altough it can be of benefit too ).))
    If Jolla would have full control on development it will work well and we get what we want..

    Re: political ussues in Russia is all bs.
    I live here for good few years and before lived in Ireland for even more years… its all the same… differance only – level of people’s welfare…
    All those talks about democracy etc, irrelevant in this case…

    The main aim now is a working headset / OS / and few native (popular) apps… and turn all this into a revenue…

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