CyanogenMod Raises $7M in Venture Funding for Mobile OS Customization Business

Google's open source Android operating system has grown up and matured right before our very eyes in the past several years, and the same can be said for Steve Kondik, otherwise known by his online handle Cyanogen, developer of the immensely popular CyanogenMod line of ROMs. He posted his first ROM on the XDA Developers forum back in May 2009. It was for the T-Mobile G1 (HTC Dream) and it was an instant hit.

It didn't take long for CyanogenMod to gain a following among Android users anxious to access new features and rid themselves of carrier bloat. That's become Cyanogen's passion over the last few years, and he's now ready to take the next step by turning his hobby into a real company.

CyanogenMod is now Cyanogen Inc. courtesy of $7 million in funding from Benchmark Capital and Redpoint Ventures. Cyanogen is hitting this full-time, having left his job, signed a lease on an office in downtown Seattle along with a second office in Palo Alto, and bringing along "as many people from the CM team" as he could.

Cyanogen Inc.
The faces of Cyanogen Inc.

As a company, Cyanogen Inc.'s first order of business is to build an installer that will be available in the Play Store in the coming weeks. As it stands, it's a "daunting process" for the average user to install a third-party ROM, and the custom installer will change that. Download/install, tap, and you're done.

The upshot here for users is that not only will it be simple to install CyanogenMod on their smartphone, but they can expect frequent updates. That's always been one of the main appeals of third-party ROMs versus waiting for your handset's manufacturer and wireless carrier to deliver an OS update.

"What will change is our capabilities, our speed, and our size. I’m not one to let anything stagnate," Cyanogen stated in a blog post. "The next logical steps for CM were out of reach previously, and the path forward is clear now. I hope you feel the same."