Google is investing $22 million into KaiOS, the operating system based on Mozilla's Firefox OS and powers some Nokia-branded feature phones.
"This funding will help us fast-track development and global deployment of KaiOS-enabled smart feature phones, allowing us to connect the vast population that still cannot access the internet, especially in emerging markets," said Sebastien Codeville, CEO of KaiOS Technologies.
KaiOS works with manufacturers like TCL, HMD Global, and Micromax and has partnerships with carriers such as Reliance Jio, Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile. These partners produce affordable devices that include essential functionalities like apps, GPS, 4G/LTE, and Wi-Fi.
More than 40 million KaiOS phones have shipped so far.
Google has been pushing to slim down Android to take up less space, reduce pre-installed app space, and to get Android onto devices with 1GB of RAM. However, Android still takes up around 3GB of storage space and KaiOS devices like the Nokia 8110 banana phone ship with 512MB of RAM and 4GB of storage.