Indus OS, a mobile operating system focussed on Indic languages, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from VenturEast and JSW Ventures. The company is calling this Series A2 financing and said that existing investor Omidyar Network also participated in the round of funding. Omidyar Network had invested $5 million back January 2016. It had previously closed an angel round led by various technology entrepreneurs and investors.
Indus OS is an Android-based operating system targeted at native language speakers. The OS currently claims to support 12 regional languages including Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu and Assamese.
As of now, Indus OS claims to have 6 million users. The company has partnered with various mobile makers, notably with Intex, Karbonn, Micromax, Celkon and Swipe in India and Elite in Bangladesh to run on some of their models. The first official Indus OS powered device was launched in May 2015.
Funds from Series A2 will be invested to hire top industry talent and further product development and innovation. CEO Rakesh Deshmukh added that the company is in talks with Chinese smartphone brands for the launch of the next version of the OS due for release next quarter.
Note that when the company raised Series A funding, it was planning to launch 10 regional Android smartphones in the price range of Rs 3,500 to Rs 12,500. However, since then the company changed strategy and is instead looking to partner with OEMs rather than compete against them.
Earlier, Indus OS 2.0 introduced ‘Indus Reader’ which provides text-to-Speech in eight languages. The company built the product partnership with the Ministry of Electronics and Technology (MeitY). It also released the Recharge 2.0 feature, a dialer integrated balance tracking and analytics feature with one touch recharge.
Partnership with FreeCharge
Earlier this year, digital wallet FreeCharge partnered with Indus OS for integrating its payment app into the mobile OS. FreeCharge’s recharge services will also be integrated into the Indus OS phone dialer.FreeCharge mentioned that it was also partnering with Indus OS for regional language solutions. FreeCharge is available in just English and Hindi while its competitors Paytm and MobiKwik had also recently launched regional language support in multiple languages.