Helsinki-based Jongla announces it has received €1.2 million funding from Tekes and private investors. In August, the company took its mobile messaging apps out of the App Store, Google Play, Get Jar and Windows Marketplace, with a promise that something new and better is coming in October. Right now it appears they’re focusing on iOS, Android, and HTML5 for their free instant messaging solution.
Jongla has had a longer history than a lot of startups. When we first covered them first back in 2009, we remarked that they’ve been around since 2004 and were providing something in the mobile marketing space. In 2011, we covered them as a method to share multimedia files and text messages for feature phones. The service was free, but placed a small ad that was visible to recipients before they opened the message.
Now they seem to be in the same mobile instant messaging space, much like WhatsApp and other services, but as a free app targeting young people.
“Thanks to the funding, we have been able to further develop our new technology. Our goal is to challenge current popular services, such as WhatsApp and Viber, while finding our own space from global markets. Our goal is enter especially into the Asian markets,” says Riku Salminen, Jongla Oy’s Chief Operating Officer in their press release.
Investors include Sanoma Group’s former CEO Hannu Syrjänen, Economic Counsellor Kalevi Sivonen, entrepreneur and investor Janne Leino as well as several other private investors. In addition to the company’s founder and CEO Arto Boman, Jongla Oy’s majority shareholders are Chairman Juha Halttunen, Member of the Board Henry Sjöman and Commercial Counsellor Matti Kallio.
€1.2 million isn’t a small chunk of change for a pivot, but they’ll need it to compete with established players like WhatsApp and Viber. We’ll keep you posted when their apps launch this October.