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The Information: Cyanogen turns down Google’s acquisition attempt

According to a new report from The Information, Google sat down to discuss with Cyanogen Inc the possibility of a full acquisition. The CM team wasn't interested, however.
October 2, 2014
oppo n1 cyanogenmod install (8)

As a company, Cyanogen Inc is still very new, though it is growing fast and making some interesting moves along the way — such as teaming up with Oppo for the N1 CM edition and working with OnePlus to deliver CyanogenMod 11S on the OnePlus One. It seems that it’s not just consumers taking notice of Cyanogen’s efforts, as a new report from The Information claims that Google’s Sundar Pichai met with Cyanogen Inc executives recently to discuss the possibility of an acquisition.

Reportedly the CM team turned Google down, content to stay the course and has even discussed a Series C round of funding with a few investors and tech firms, seeking a valuation of nearly $1 billion. Considering the company is new and not exactly generating a massive revenue stream just yet, that might seem like a lot. Of course, the experience behind the CM team and the CyanogenMod ROM (and community) is the real value for the company, not the products and partnerships it has produced during its short corporate life.

The experience behind the CM team and the CyanogenMod ROM is the real value for the company

CyanogenMod remains one of the most well-known and popular ROMs in the Android world with some very big talent behind it, and so we could see how the addition of the CM team could potentially be of value to Google, as well as Android manufacturers or even possibly Google’s rivals. In the meantime, Cyanogen has plans to continue expanding its reach and, according to the report, has told potential investors it has a deal in place with MicroMax to bring CyanogenMod to India.

With Micromax and others also pushing the Android One effort in India and other emerging markets, it remains unseen if CM has what it takes to compete in such an aggressive manner against Google. The Information also notes that Cyanogen needs to tread carefully, as they need to ensure that their modifications (and marketing tactics) don’t irk Google too much as CM still relies on Google Play certification. Unlike Amazon, there’s no in-house apps and services to fall back on if Google ever decides to fight dirty and deny certification.

What do you think, IF the report is correct and Google was truly interested in making an offer, was Cyanogen Inc wise to continue on its own path or not? What benefits do you think Google could see from obtaining CyanogenMod and the team behind it?