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Twitter and Qualcomm bet big on Cyanogen with new funding

Cyanogen is determined to wrestle control of Android away from Google, and now the company may have the war chest it needs to do it. The software startup announced a new $80 million round of funding from some powerful new backers on Monday.

Twitter and Qualcomm are both pitching in to help Cyanogen take on Google. As is News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch and Spanish carrier Telefónica. This is just the latest round of funding for the company, which previously took investments from Silicon Valley venture capital regulars Andreessen Horowitz and Chinese mobile giant Tencent.

It’s unclear exactly what Twitter, Qualcomm and the rest see in Cyanogen or hope to get out of the deal. None have issued official statements, though the always-vocal CEO Kirt McMaster did offer a quick quote to along with the news.

“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,” McMaster said. “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.”

Premji Invest, an Indian firm which led the latest round of funding adds that Cyanogen has the potential to become the third biggest mobile OS behind Android and iOS. Whether the company can pass BlackBerry and Windows remains to be seen, but challenging Google head-on will be even more difficult. One thing’s for sure, it’s going to take more than $80 million to pull it off.


Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...