Upstart operating-system vendor Cyanogen today announced that it raised $80 million from a group of investors led by Indian tech tycoon Azim Premji.
The company was widely expected to announce a major round of funding to continue building out a version of Android that offers an alternative to device makers wanting to be less dependent on Google.
Cyanogen does most of its product development and has most of its employees in Seattle but has a corporate headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif. It started in 2013 to capitalize on the breakout success of CyanogenMod, a community-modified version of Android that was initiated in 2009 by Pittsburgh software developer Steve Kondik.
Cyanogen’s profile rose last year after a January report that Microsoft was crossing the aisle and investing in the Android venture. But a Bloomberg report earlier this month said Microsoft had opted out of the deal.
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However, Cyanogen’s news release today noted that there are several investors who have yet to be named. Spokeswoman Vivian Lee declined to name them today but said they will be identified “very soon.”
Other companies with strategic reasons to support Cyanogen’s agnostic Android contributed to the $80 million round. They include Qualcomm – which is now distributing Cyanogen software with some of its device hardware bundles – and Twitter.
Premji – chairman of Wipro – led the round via his Premji Invest firm. Other new investors were Telefónica Ventures, Smartfren Telecom, Index Ventures, Access Industries, Rupert Murdoch and Vivi Nevo. Previous investors Benchmark, Andreessen Horowitz, Redpoint Ventures and Tencent Holdings also participated.
Altogether the two-year-old company has now raised $110 million.