The open-source craze continues. Cyanogen Inc., a company that builds an open-source flavor of the Android operating system (OS), has announced that it has raised $80 million in Series C financing.
The financing included many big names, including Twitter Ventures, Qualcomm, Rupert Murdoch, and global operator Telefonica. The financing was led by Premji Invest and also included Smartfren Telecom, Index Ventures, Access Industries (the US-based industrial group headed by Len Blavatnik), Vivi Nevo, and several yet to be announced partners, according to the company.
Cyanogen is based in Seattle and San Francisco. It distributes several versions of Android, including the commercial Cyanogen OS, as well as the open-source project CyanogenMod.
In 2013, Scott Raney, a partner with Redpoint Ventures and an early investor in Cyanogen, told us why Redpoint had invested in Cyanogen. Raney pointed to the high levels of integration between the operating system and devices, providing a superior “Apple-like” customer experience.
Cyanogen and Qualcomm at Mobile World Congress earlier this month announced they would collaborate on User Interface (UI) integration between the Cyanogen OS and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors. The results of this collaboration will be available on the upcoming Qualcomm Reference Design (QRD) planned for April.
So, in summary: $80 million, Twitter, Qualcomm, Telefonica, and Rupert Murdoch. It seems as if Cyanogen has gotten the industry’s attention. This is one of the more powerful mobile platforms to watch. Developers take note.