Mobile startup Cyanogen, which aims to cut into Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG) control over the Android platform by offering a modified version of the software, raised $80 million in fresh funding. As some reports had indicated, it did not get funding from Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), which is both a rival and a partner of Google in mobile. However, Cyanogen did get money from a wide range of sources, including media mogul Rupert Murdoch, Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), Twitter Ventures, Telefónica Ventures, Premji Invest (backed by Wipro Ltd. Chairman Azim Premji), Smartfren Telecom, Index Ventures, Access Industries, Vivi Nevo and several yet-to-be-announced partners. Cyanogen said it has the support of existing investors Benchmark, Andreessen Horowitz, Redpoint Ventures and Tencent. As Re/code noted, Cyanogen didn't disclose its current valuation, but had reportedly been looking to be worth several hundred million dollars.
Cyanogen wants to create an alternative to Google's version of Android and the Google Play store. According to Cyanogen, CyanogenMod, the open-source OS the company backs, has more than 50 million users in more than 190 countries.
"We've made inroads in our commercial distribution, so people can get Cyanogen OS on their smartphones, right out of the box," the company said in a post on its website. "Starting this year, we expect to see accelerated adoption of our commercial operating system with Cyanogen OS preloaded on smartphones from hardware makers in different parts of the world. We want our OS to be as accessible as possible, so that many millions of people can have a better, more powerful mobile computing experience and choose what default apps and services they want. Real choice. Real freedom." Post