A device platform start-up led by a former Mozilla chief has apparently picked up $100 million in funding, with backing coming from an ambitious Chinese state-backed technology player, according to reports.
Acadine Technologies is headed by Li Gong, the former president of Mozilla, who had an increasingly high-profile as the company ramped-up its efforts in the mobile space. He left Mozilla earlier this year, and since then the web technology company has also refocused its efforts in the mobile space.
According to CNET, Acadine intends the first release of its H5OS – an open platform for smartphones, tablets, wearables and IoT – within six months. Parallels with Mozilla’s Firefox OS were noted, not least in that of the more than 70 employees hired since March, 40 have worked for the US company.
While the open Firefox OS has “definitely broken fresh ground in mobile operating systems and demonstrated the viability of a new Web-centric approach in a field dominated by Android and iOS devices”, Gong told the publication that “we have to go much further than that”.
Funding has come from Tsinghua Unigroup, which is in turn controlled by Tsinghua Holdings, and is affiliated with Tsinghua University in Beijing. This operation has invested heavily in the mobile space, acquiring silicon vendors Spreadtrum Communications and RDA Microelectronics and partnering with Intel.
CNET said that Hong Kong-headquartered Acadine also has offices in Beijing and Taipei, and development facilities in London and Palo Alto, California.
Of course, Acadine is not the only company looking to build a position in the device (including emerging IoT) market, and so far even companies with deep pockets have failed to gain traction – such as Microsoft’s Windows Phone and Samsung’s Tizen.