Cyanogenmod goes pro with Cyanogen Inc. and $7 million in funding

Cyanogenmod logoCyanogenmod is hitting the big leagues with the founding of Cyanogen Inc. The new company is up and running thanks to a $7 million dollar series A investment by Benchmark Capital and Redpoint Ventures.

Cyanogenmod is the most popular custom Android ROM. Unlike stock Android, which is only available on Nexus devices, Cyanogenmod brings a near-stock experience to users of almost every Android device. Users willing to hack their devices (often with manufacturer-unapproved security exploits) can remove their default version of Android and install Cyanogenmod. Many make the switch to either remove bloatware and manufacturer customizations or for the plethora of custom-developed Cyanogenmod features.

The new company will allow the core Cyanogenmod team to all quit their day jobs and work on the community rom full-time. A post on the Cyanogenmod blog announced that "What will change is our capabilities, our speed, and our size," stating that they want to continue supporting the community and continue being open source. They also laid out some goals for the project:

Our goals today are straightforward:

  • Organize, lead, and support our community
  • Create amazing user experience centered around how YOU work
  • Security solutions that really work
  • Stay committed to building the features our users need
  • No junk
  • Constant updates
  • Available on everything, to everyone

Cyanogenmod Inc. has actually been up and running since April 17, which has allowed them to push out bigger projects like CM Account, Privacy Guard, and Voice+. Next up on the docket is revamping the "hideous" installation process, which requires different instructions for every phone and flashing multiple files through a recovery bootloader. The plan is to streamline the process with a Cyanogenmod installer in the Play Store, which will be out in "the coming weeks."

The Cyanogenmod team knows the community will be a little nervous about any kind of big change like this. The immediate question that comes to mind is what the investors expect for their $7 million. Currently, Cyanogenmod gives the distribution away for free and collects lots of diagnostic data from user's devices. Now, theoretically, they will need to come up with some kind of business model. Anyone interested in more information will want to keep a lookout on reddit, where Steve Kondik, the founder of Cyanogenmod, will be doing an AMA later today.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: Android, OSes

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