Jolla is in big trouble: funding delay results in ‘temporary lay-offs’ as startup files for debt restructuring

Jolla is in big trouble: funding delay results in 'temporary lay-offs' as startup files for debt restructuring

Finnish mobile devices and operating system maker Jolla‘s woes continue. The company just announced (PDF) that its latest financing round – which was scheduled to conclude at the end of this month – has been postponed indefinitely.

Jolla says it needs to “adjust its operations accordingly”, which means it will temporarily lay off a big part of its staff, starting in December. The Helsinki-based company has also filed for a debt restructuring program in Finland to stay afloat.

Update: reportedly, half of Jolla’s 100 employees will be let go.

Jolla was founded four years ago and has seen a fair share of ups and down since then, self-reportedly raising $50 million along the way.

Earlier this year, the company split in two, effectively separating its software and licensing business from its mobile devices business.

Jolla says its Sailfish OS has “reached commercial maturity” and is ready to be licensed to commercial partners, primarily other device manufacturers.

Antti Saarnio, chairman and co-founder of Jolla, comments:

“Typically for start-ups, Jolla has gone through several death valleys along its four year journey. We’ve fought them through and now we are facing again a great challenge. Our operating system Sailfish OS is in great shape currently and it is commercially ready. Unfortunately the development until this point has required quite a lot of time and money.”

“To get out of this death valley we need to move from a development phase into a growth phase. At the same time we need to adapt our cost levels to the new situation. One of the main actions is to tailor the operating system to fit the needs of different clients. We have several major and smaller potential clients who are interested in using Sailfish OS in their projects,” he added.

Saarnio remains convinced that Sailfish OS is “worth fighting for” and believes Jolla can still become a profitable venture, hence the corporate restructuring program. The company will continue to look for external investors to finance its operations.

The question is whether Jolla can overcome its latest challenge, which seems like its biggest yet. To be continued, no doubt.

Also read:

Hong Kong company buys 65% stake in Russian smartphone maker Yota Devices for $100 million

Jolla co-founder & CTO: “We make hardware to show that we’re really good at doing software”

Dialed down: Spain’s Geeksphone exits the smartphone business

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