When the CyanogenMod folks announced the formation of Cyanogen Inc. back in September, the young company had secured $7 million in funding to help it get off the ground. Now, with a few months of momentum behind it, the company has secured an additional $22 million. This money comes from the California-based venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz along with pre-established partners Benchmark and Redpoint.


These new funds will help Cyanogen Inc. throw more resources at cranking out code, sponsoring events, and growing its team of engineers and designers. Yet money isn't all the company has acquired lately. Peter Levine from Andreessen Horowitz is joining the company's board of directors. Tencent, China's largest Internet company, will also serve as a strategic partner. More symbolically, though, the team has picked up a large showing of support from sources other than its users, and that's nothing to shake a stick at.

Source: Cyanogen Inc.

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • thartist

    I wonder why CM would need so much money if they had been doing the same with no funds. What are the spending it in if Oppo will put the hardware and whatever-y to launch the CM phones.
    I want to know their plans.

    • KingofPing

      Nothing they are dong now is "the same" as they were doing.

      This new venture requires space, equipment, payroll, insurance, licensing, marketing, legal, contracting partners...and I am certain that's not even half of the "tip of the iceberg".

      This doesn't just pay for the code. Paying the employees is likely peanuts to the rest of the costs.

      • thartist

        Well, ok :P

        I still can't shake the feeling that becoming a corporation is the same as staying rather independant BUT... with millions associated in unnecessary burocratic spendings.
        Glad CM got 'em.

        • KingofPing

          They likely see it the exact opposite: Staying independent while gaining the resources and positioning to really spend the time and take the effort to make it *worth* something.

          Well see what they make it worth sooner rather than later, hopefully. Still not entirely certain myself mow much of this idea, if any, has any real wings.

      • mateor

        Employees are one of the biggest expenses/risks any new company takes on. I saw they had a staff of ~ten and were still hiring. Gets expensive very very fast.

        • KingofPing

          Well, I said "paying the employees", in my defense. I counted insurance separately and didn't even mention benefits.

          You are dead on, of course, Employee costs are *huge*...

          ...generally more-so over the long-term than upon start-up, though; and that's where my mind was when I posted that.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Among other expenses, they're actually paying full-time engineers full-time competitive salaries now. That's literally the opposite of what they did before funding.

  • Joshua Bailey

    Wow. Impressive.

    • http://about.me/jovanphilip Jovan Philip

      such rom. much bank. very development. wow

      • Darrien Glasser

        Lemme fix that for you.

  • wideopn11

    Not sure how I feel about Cyanogen anymore? I guess it's good that they are getting bigger but I'm sure that necessarily means better.


    • sup

      "Go f*ck yourself, San Diego."

  • wideopn11

    I'm not sure how I feel about Cyanogen anymore...


    • wideopn11

      Oops, double post. Sorry. Duplicate can be deleted.

    • Thehamster95

      Beating a dead horse, are we?

  • wideopn11

    I'm not sure how I feel about Cyanogen anymore...

    • Cj

      we got you the first time...

      • wideopn11

        Sorry, IDK why the first post took so long to show up.

  • http://www.lukeharper.co.uk/ Luke Harper

    Not sure how I feel about Cyanogen anymore... (just kidding)

    But I do think it's exciting almost to have a professional ROM development group out there, If a hole is left in the market by them taking this route and then not providing ROMs for general phones anymore then I am sure someone will fill that hole.

    People who do professional work get paid for it and I don't see this as a loss but as an added incentive for people to build more fantastic open software like the Cyanogen guys have done.

  • Testraindrop

    Hm, I wonder what the investor expect to get back in return?

    What has CM promised them? For now I can't find any revenue stream to be honest... only the one Oppo Phone, no ads, (theoretically for now) no userdata to sell... etc.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      I'm sure they'll figure out a way. One way would be to collect royalties on every phone sold that ships with CM, say in partnership with One Plus. Or Oppo, or whoever else they partner with.

    • Cuvis

      You don't invest in the present, you invest in the future. Apparently, they think Cyanogen's plan of licensing their Android build out to phone manufacturers is a good one.

      • Wesley Modderkolk

        Licensing a free OS? I have huge doubts in Google liking that, not to mention, is that even legal?

        • Cuvis

          Of course it's legal. How do you think Red Hat makes money?

          • Wesley Modderkolk

            Hardly comparable.

            Red Hat is a version of linux, when you buy RHES(or what ever product you buy) you never pay for the product, you pay for the service and support with that product. Linux itself is free.

            Android itself also is free, it is a Linux with a lot of different code and pretty much works different compared to a regular Linux system. If CM would resell Android they would pretty much sell Linux WITH Google's code.

            But in this comparison, I don't think you'll come out without a lawsuit if you would start reselling Red Hat Linux, which is pretty much what CM would be doing.

            I think that CM just "giving it away" would be legal, but as soon as they start asking money for the software, it would become illegal as they are reselling someone else's property.

          • Cuvis

            Red Hat does, indeed, sell RHEL. https://www.redhat.com/apps/store/desktop/

            And there is not a single thing in the GPL that prevents reselling, as long as you also provide your source to anybody who buys.

          • Wesley Modderkolk

            Ah yes, hadn't thought about that.

        • hariprasanth

          But isn't Amazon doing a similar thing with their Kindle lineup ? I would love some clarification on the licensing part.

        • hariprasanth

          What i do think is though , they can't make use of the Gapps. Especially after being a Inc. company they can't just go ahead and ask / point their users to sideload them to gain access to play store. Or they have to go for a private app store which is highly unlikely.

          • Cuvis

            Actually, they've accounted for this as well; they've said that they're making some accommodations with their OEM build (such as not having it rooted by default, though it'll be easily rootable) so that it'll pass Google certification. Thus, there's no reason an OEM can't license Cyanogenmod, then license Gapps on top of it.

          • hariprasanth

            Thanks , was not aware of it.

  • Stanley Chan

    Cyanogem is growing into a Hardware brand.

    I think the future (not so far) well have a Cyanogem phone.

    Its the only way that they could go.

  • firesoul453

    i love Cyanogen mod but why would a company invest money in something that doesn't make a cent? Or how does Cyanogen make money? (besides investors)

    • Guest

      Well, if I'm a hardware manufacturer and don't want to really invest in the staff to get Android on a device, nor the updates, then CM looks like a good investment. Give them some cash to deal with getting Android on my device and keeping it up to date.

    • Josh Legoza

      I've been curious about that too. I can't imagine Oppo or anyone else would pay them a licensing fee to have CM on their phones when Android is "free".

      • EH101

        Like the Guest commenter below, I'm certain they'll approach OEMs with offers to take over development and ROM updating for some device lines. I'm sure OEMs wouldn't mind offloading those support costs for a fee, at least for their lower tier devices. Top tier like the HTC One line or the Samsung Galaxy series will be very unlikely to outsource such things, though.

        • firesoul453

          There are phones that ship with cyanogenmod on them?

          • EH101

            Not yet, but I believe there will be in the future. I think it will be a long time before these types of phones are released in the US though.

          • firesoul453

            Oh ok.

            I would definitely buy a phone officially supported by cyanogemod!

          • EH101

            One of the Oppo phones has CM as an option, or will sometime soon. I don't remember which phone or where it is for sale. But I think that's a pretty good indicator that CM will try to get to a point where they are shipped as the stock ROM.

          • squiddy20

            That would be the Oppo N1.

          • EH101

            I knew it was either that or the Find 5, but then again, those are the only Oppo devices I know of. Lol.

      • Cuvis

        You know how there's that old saying, "Linux is free if your time is worthless"? In a way, the same applies to Android. Sure, AOSP is freely available, but manufacturers have to take the time to make it work with their hardware, build it into a finished package, test it, etc, not to mention the continuing expense of providing OTA updates. If a manufacturer licenses CyanogenMod, that means that Cyanogen is doing all that work for them.

        • Josh Legoza

          Good point. Though like @eh101:disqus said above, most of the big players probably wouldn't be interested in that. They want to differentiate. Unfortunately that really limits the revenue opportunities. Shame though. I'd love to have some sort of standardized Android UI across all (or most manufacturers). That'll never happen though.

          • Cuvis

            Oh, I agree, you're not going to see Samsung putting CyanogenMod on the Galaxy S5. But they stand to clean up on the low end of the market and with botique vendors, and frankly, that's where the real growth is in the smartphone market right now.

          • firesoul453

            Na its a good thing. SOme poeple love sense. Some people love stock. I've even be told by someone they love touchwiz though they didn't know its name.

    • didibus

      They'll make money eventually. They probably presented a business plan to investors and some rich person thought that it was a good idea and saw that it would make money eventually, or at least that it would make other people believe they would make money, so either way he will have higher return on his investment. They're already showing up on the Oppo N1, Oppo probably paid them for the job. They are rumours they will be releasing a Cyanogen phone manufactured by a 3rd party but designed by them. So in effect, Cyanogen Inc. is now a phone maker company, so just like HTC, they are in the same line of business.

  • mustbepbs

    Let's hope this new found wealth doesn't corrupt them.

  • brkshr

    I'm betting that CM will be just like most other OEMs when it comes to updates. It's going to take awhile for them to incorporate all their add-ons and changes. Now that they say they want to make their own UI, that just makes things worse. CM devices will not be seeing speedy updates like the newer Moto's have. They may update a little faster than most other OEMs, but there is no possible way that they can update Moto fast.

  • http://www.emuparadise.me/roms-isos-games.php rarely online

    Hooray! More love to the people that sold out the Android development community as well as their own by lying and assuming people will just sit down and shut up when they are involved, not to mention how arrogant and ignorant they were to the critics that pointed out how badly they handled the situation in the first place.

    More love to the sell outs.

  • Mado


    I'm actually using OmniROM, though