Indus OS raises funds from JSW Ventures, others
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Mumbai-based OSLabs Technology India Pvt. Ltd, which runs smartphone operating system Indus OS, has raised an undisclosed amount in Series A2 funding from early-stage investor VenturEast and JSW Ventures, the venture capital arm of JSW Group.

Existing investor Omidyar Network also participated in the round.

“Funds from Series A2 will be invested to hire top industry talent and further product development and innovation. We are already in talks with international and Chinese smartphone brands for the launch of our next version - Indus OS 3.0,” said Rakesh Deshmukh, co-founder & CEO, Indus OS, in a statement.

Indus OS (formerly called Firstouch) is currently the number two mobile OS in India, with a 7.6% market share. It claims to have a user base of 7 million across its smartphone brand partners, including Micromax, Intex, Karbonn, Celkon and Swipe.

The company was founded by three IIT-Bombay alumni, Deshmukh, Akash Dongre and Sudhir B, in 2015.

“The uniqueness of Indus OS...fits with our fund’s primary emphasis on the rural and semi-urban markets, and the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises” said Srikanth Sundararajan, partner at VenturEast.

Sunil Lalvani, former head of Qualcomm and BlackBerry in India, had recently joined Indus OS as an advisor.

The Indus OS 3.0 platform will be released next quarter. The company believes it will alleviate some of the major pain points of Indian smartphone users. It will soon be opening an office in China to further its efforts to partner with international smartphone brands.

Last year, Indus OS 2.0 had introduced ‘Indus Reader’ (text-to-speech) in eight Indian languages, built in partnership with the Ministry of Electronics and Technology (MeitY). It recently released the Recharge 2.0 feature, dialler integrated balance-tracking and analytics feature with one-touch recharge.

In January, mobile wallet firm FreeCharge had partnered Indus OS for direct integration on smartphones using the platform.

In January 2016, Indus OS had raised $5 million (Rs 34 crore then) in funding from investors led by Omidyar Network.

Snapdeal founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal had angel-funded Indus OS in 2015.

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