KaiOS is also partnering with TCL, HMD Global and Micromax, Reliance Jio, Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile. In March 2018, Reliance Industries had bought a 16% stake in KaiOS for $7 million cash.
Google’s investment will enable the operating system for smart feature phones to integrate Google services including search, maps, YouTube and voice assistant into its operating system.
Anjali Joshi, Vice-President, Product Management, Next Billion Users at Google, said: “We want to ensure that Google apps and services are available to everyone, whether they are using desktops, smartphones, or feature phones.”
Sebastien Codeville, CEO of KaiOS Technologies, commented: “This funding will help us fast-track development and global deployment of KaiOS-enabled smart feature phones, allowing us to connect the vast population that still cannot access the internet, especially in emerging markets.”