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Zoho seeks web browser market dominance with Ulaa

By , Africa editor
Africa , 26 Jun 2023
Zoho's Africa regional head, Andrew Bourne.
Zoho's Africa regional head, Andrew Bourne.

Technology company Zoho is punting its new Ulaa web browser to emerge as a dominant player in the future.

The software-as-a-service firm launched Ulaa in May, with Zoho saying the browser has several unique features and capabilities, which gives it a potential edge over competitors.

With Ulaa, Zoho says it provides a secure browsing experience with ad blockers, end-to-end encryption, and data privacy features, and is ready to challenge incumbents for significant market share.

Zoho is seeking to challenge the dominance of Google Chrome and others on the market.

As of May, Google Chrome browser accounted for 63% of the global market share for internet browsers, according to Statista. 

The second most popular browser was Apple’s Safari, accounting for 21 per cent of the market share. Apart from these two, no other browser controlled more than five per cent of the overall market share.

Zoho is now seeking to turn the status quo with Ulaa. In an interview with ITWeb Africa, Zoho's Africa regional head, Andrew Bourne, said the browser’s differentiators are its privacy-focus and an ad-free user experience.

He explained: “With its strong focus on user privacy and productivity, Ulaa has the potential to emerge as a dominant player in the future. By implementing privacy measures, such as robust encryption and stringent access controls, Ulaa ensures user data security and confidentiality.

"Furthermore, by integrating privacy features with productivity-enhancing tools, Ulaa offers a comprehensive solution for privacy-conscious individuals who value efficiency in their digital tasks.”

In the interview, Bourne detailed the main features that make Ulaa unique, adding that Ulaa has garnered a substantial user base on a global scale, without disclosing the exact numbers.

Moreover, he said Ulaa has also piqued the interest of enterprises and some government agencies, highlighting its potential to cater to the needs of both individual users and larger organisations.

In addition to the adblocker and productivity tools, Ulaa features a kids’ mode, tailor-made to provide a safe and fun browsing experience for children.

“Ulaa turns the browser into a kid-friendly space with a range of features such as parental control and child lock to block inappropriate content and websites online. The children cannot access other modes since entering or exiting the kids' mode is passphrase protected,” said Bourne.

On productivity, he said: “Users can toggle between five unique modes based on their desired browsing experience, with each mode completely isolated from others, offering protected browsing experiences unique to the specific mode.

“Dynamic Mode Switching enables users to ask Ulaa to open and remember which websites belong in certain modes. The next time the user visits that website, Ulaa will automatically prompt to open the site in pre-selected mode.”

According to Bourne, the Dynamic Mode Switching helps to organise browsing sessions as one juggles between work and personal lives.

In addition, Bourne said: “Ulaa comes with integrated apps that boost productivity, including Zoho Notebook, a dedicated note-taking app that works across all tabs and all modes, so a user can easily jot down ideas, reminders, or important information without leaving their browsing session.”

The unveiling of Ulaa by Indian-headquartered Zoho comes as the company expands operations in Africa.

The company has a footprint in South Africa, with two offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Zoho also has offices in Egypt, Kenya and Nigeria.

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