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Cyanogen Is The Latest Mobile-First Brand To Announce Plans Of Strategic Startup Investments

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Considering how rapidly brands want to eat up a lion’s share of India’s 800 Million+ mobile subscribers base, more and more established giants have planned out a fresh new way to do that — make strategic investments/acquisitions into startups. And the latest to join that list is Cyanogen.

The company, which in the recent past, has risen to become one of the most popular Android brands, is planning to expand its operations aggressively in India. And as a plan of its expansion strategy in India, the US-based company is looking to invest in Indian startups or even acquire a few, in order to strengthen its product offerings. (via ET)


The company has already set up a team in Bangalore, which currently consists of around 11 people. It is looking to expand its team to over 60 people by the end of coming year.

Cyanogen, as is public knowledge, was first started as an open-source project named CyanogenMod, to tinker with Android operating system in 2009. However, after getting positive response from the users, it became a full-fledged company in 2013.

Earlier, before the launch of “the flagship killer”  OnePlus One, OnePlus too partnered with CyanogenMod to offer its operating system out-of-the-box with its smartphone. However, the partnership ended this year as there was friction between both companies to proceed with their own visions of the software.


In India, Cyanogen has entered into an exclusive partnership with Micromax for its subsidiary-brand Yu Televenures. As a part of the deal, all the devices from Yu will be running on Cyanogen OS. Recently, Yu launched Yu Yutopia which runs on Cyanogen 12.1.

Earlier this year, the company hired Stephen Lawler as Senior Vice President of Engineering who is a former Vice President of Amazon along with Karthick Iyer who was s Vice President of Global Systems at Qualcomm Android Engineering and is looking after system engineering at Cyanogen.

Commenting about the expansion in India, Kirt McMaster, co-founder of Cyanogen, said to ET,

We are going to expand in India aggressively, and you can expect to see a lot more of us next year. We have been considering something like that to fund startups, not just in India but globally. But, currently, there’s no specific Cyanogen fund for this.

One of the reasons we partnered with Micromax because they understand the market and consumers in India. We want to take the value of this community to mass market.

Cyanogen, founded by Koushik Dutta, Steve Kondik and Kirt McMaster, has raised $115 million in three funding round from more than fifteen investors. Most recently, it had raised $80 million in Series C round, which was led by India’s PremjiInvest.

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