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Cyanogen is scaling up in a big way. The company led by Steve Kondik and Kirt McMaster announced it secured funding totaling $80 million from a group of investors including Twitter Ventures, Qualcomm, and Rupert Murdoch.

This series C round of funding brings the total investment that Cyanogen received so far to $110 million. The startup has not revealed its current valuation.

Twitter Ventures, Qualcomm Incorporated, Telefónica Ventures, Smartfren Telecom, Index Ventures, Access Industries, Rupert Murdoch, Vivi Nevo are among the investors, along “several” other partners that Cyanogen hasn’t disclosed.

Cyanogen said it would use the money to “hire talent and accelerate the development of its open OS platform.”

Conspicuously absent from the list is Microsoft, which reportedly showed interest in becoming a minority investor in Cyanogen, but ultimately backed out of the deal. Also, the funding round announced today is smaller than the $110 million figure reported by Bloomberg last week. According to Bloomberg, Microsoft may still strike a “commercial deal” with Cyanogen to pre-load its mobile apps on Cyanogen OS devices.

“Ecosystem Rallies behind Cyanogen’s Open OS Vision,” proclaims the press release announcing the new round, and while that may sound hyperbolic, it’s interesting to note that Cyanogen managed to draw the interest of a varied group of companies, including an Internet heavyweight (Twitter), a major mobile hardware player (Qualcomm), and a major international carrier (Telefonica), in addition to a slew of venture capitalists. That bodes well for a company whose stated goal is to replace Google services with apps and service developed by partners. It remains to be seen whether or not the interest shown by investors will ever materialize into such partnerships.

Twitter Ventures is perhaps the most surprising name on the list. While earlier reports claimed large players like Samsung, Yahoo, Amazon, and Microsoft expressed interest in Cyanogen, it’s the first time we hear about Twitter joining in the fun.

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Cyanogen Raises $80 Million in Series C Funding

Cyanogen Raises $80 Million in Series C Funding
Ecosystem Rallies behind Cyanogen’s Open OS Vision

Palo Alto, CA. March 23, 2014 — Cyanogen Inc., a leading mobile operating system pure-play, announced the completion of an $80 million round of Series C financing. With offices in Palo Alto and Seattle, the company will leverage the infusion of new funding to hire talent and accelerate the development of its open OS platform.

The financing was led by Premji Invest and includes participation from new strategic investors Twitter Ventures, Qualcomm Incorporated, Telefónica Ventures, Smartfren Telecom, Index Ventures, Access Industries (the US-based industrial group headed by Len Blavatnik), Rupert Murdoch, Vivi Nevo, and several yet to be announced partners. Existing investors Benchmark, Andreessen Horowitz, Redpoint Ventures, and Tencent Holdings Ltd. also participated.

“We’re committed to creating an open computing platform that fundamentally empowers the entire mobile ecosystem from developers to hardware makers, and most importantly, consumers around the world,” said Kirt McMaster, CEO of Cyanogen Inc. “We’re excited to have the backing of an amazingly diverse group of strategic investors who are supporting us in building a truly open Android.”

“We invested in Cyanogen because we’re big proponents of what they’re doing in opening up Android and supporting global and local ecosystem players,” said Sandesh Patnam, Technology Sector Lead of Premji Invest. “Cyanogen is well positioned to become the 3rd leading mobile OS, and we’re excited to back them in growing their business on a global scale.”

To date, Cyanogen has received a total of $110 million in funding. Cyanogen is known for both its commercial distribution, Cyanogen OS, and open-source project CyanogenMod.

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About Cyanogen Inc.
Cyanogen is reimagining mobile computing, giving power to the people to customize their mobile device and content experiences. The CYANOGEN® operating system is built on Android and known for its revolutionary personalization features, intuitive interface, speed, improved battery life, and enhanced security. With a rapidly growing global user base and a vibrant community of developers, we’re intelligently connecting smartphone and tablet consumers to people, apps, and things they love. For more information, visit Cyanogen’s website, Google+, Twitter, and Facebook.

 

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Bogdan Petrovan
Bogdan is the European Managing Editor of Android Authority. He loves tech, travel, and fantasy. He wishes he had more time for two of those things. Bogdan's phone is a Nexus 6P.