An Indian effort to create a version of Android tailored specifically for the market picked up $5 million in funding.
According to TechCrunch, an effort called Firstouch was created to address issues such as complexity, user interface and language support. The venture, now called Indus, apparently has devices in the market through a partnership with local device maker Micromax.
It was noted that there are 22 languages in India that are officially recognised alongside English and Hindi, making it difficult to offer devices that appeal across-the-board. Indus covers 12 languages now, and is looking to add text-to-speech for regional languages into the platform.
“People don’t know how to operate a smartphone and have very limited understanding of technology. We want a simple interface to help people shift from a feature phone to a smartphone easily,” Rakesh Deshmukh, CEO, told TechCrunch.
It also has its own, operator-billed app store.
The funding round was led by Omidyar Network, a philanthropic investment firm created by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife.