Everyone’s favorite version of “open” Android is putting on its big business pants. The company just, which recently announced a partnership with Qualcomm has raised $80 million in funding from various providers, a hefty sum for a company that started out as a community driven mobile OS.
Investors included Premji Invest, Twitter Ventures, Qualcomm Incorporated, Telefónica Ventures, Smartfren Telecom, Index Ventures, and Access Industries. The company will use the cash to “hire talent and accelerate the development of its open OS platform.”
The company currently offers two platforms, Cyanogen and the open source CyanogenMod. Originally touted as an alternative to early Android builds, the company gained a traction when phone maker One Plus placed the OS on its $299 smartphone. The ostensibly open OS allows users to mod and improve the operating system as needed and offers a level of customization not available in other Android builds.
That the company is grabbed $80 million for hires and updates to its “open OS platform” is telling. In an environment where telecomm engineers are in short supply, I doubt that $80 million will go very far in terms of luring talent away from the big boys. While they’re fighting to good fight, to be sure, I hope we don’t see another foundering Mozilla in the works.