Cyanogen, The Dark Horse: Custom Android ROM Maker Raises Another $23 Million

on December 20 2013 7:28 AM
Cyanogen
Cyanogen announced that it secured $23 million in Series B funding from investors. Cyanogen/Facebook

Cyanogen, the maker of CyanogenMod, one of the most popular Android-based custom ROMs, has raised another $23 million in new funding led by Andreessen Horowitz, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based venture capital firm.

CyanogenMod, or CM, completely replaces the operating system on an Android device with a custom firmware, which supports multiple themes and some unofficial tweaks. According to Cyanogen, the company is aiming to hire 40 to 50 people over the next six months, and is also planning to open an office in Shenzhen, China.

“Today, another door has opened up. We have successfully closed our Series B financing with our new partners at Andreessen Horowitz and Tencent, as well as continued participation from our current partners at Benchmark and Redpoint. Peter Levine from A16Z will also be joining our board of directors,” Cyanogen said in a post on its website.

According to the company, the new influx of capital will primarily be used to grow the company’s engineering team as well as its user experience, design and product teams. Formed in 2009, Cyanogen raised $7 million in funding from Benchmark Capital in September.

Kirt McMaster, Cyanogen’s CEO, told VentureBeat in an interview that Android modifications, especially based on CM tweaks, have been huge in China, reaching around 25 million users so far. While the worldwide market for Android mods has touched 60 million users, Cyanogen is claimed to have catered to 11 million of them.

“We believe that the third dominant mobile computing platform will rise from the first, the mighty Android,” McMaster said.

Cyanogen recently launched a CM companion app -- an installer that makes it simple for users to flash their devices -- on the Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Play store. But, Google pulled the app last month after it reached approximately 300,000 downloads.

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