Cyanogen, Inc. has announced its $7MM Series A financing, led by Benchmark. Actually, we closed the round several months ago, and have been hard at work with the company since then, and so we are very excited to confirm our participation today.
The Cyanogen Mod, or “CM”, is the most comprehensive and successful Android firmware distribution in the world. It is based upon Google’s Android Open Source Project, and designed to vastly improve the speed, security, and overall user experience of Android on mobile phones and tablets. CM is already in use on millions of handsets, and with the simplified installer that the company is announcing simultaneously with this financing, that number is sure to grow quickly. We believe that CM is poised to become one of the largest mobile operating systems in the world.
With literally billions of Android devices in users’ hands, the opportunity is enormous for an Android-based OS like CM that leverages the Android app development community. According to reports, more than half of existing Android devices run an out-of-date version of the OS. Installing CM improves performance, increases data security, and insures compatibility with the tens of thousands of available Android apps. CM also eliminates the confusing bloat-ware that handset manufacturers increasingly load onto their devices. Some CM users have referred to the operating system as “Pure Android” and I think that captures the design aesthetic that founder Steve Kondik and his team have advanced.
Benchmark has a long history of supporting open source projects intent on becoming successful enterprises. Our open source history includes Red Hat, MySQL, SpringSource, JBoss, Eucalyptus, Zimbra, ElasticSearch, HortonWorks, and now Cyanogen. We’ve been behind many of the most successful open source software companies in the world. We have a deep respect for the special needs of these businesses, and how to build companies while preserving the transparency and vigor of the open source communities. We are excited to work with Steve Kondik and the team at Cyanogen to accomplish that goal.