The last year has been a wild ride for us at CyanogenMod. We took the big leap, and decided that it was time to turn our part-time hobby into a full-time company by forming Cyanogen Inc. with our partners at Benchmark and Redpoint Ventures by way of a Series A round in April. Since then, many new doors have opened up, and things that once seemed impossible for us as solely an open-source community are becoming reality.
Our goal for starting the company has always been to create the best possible mobile experience, and we believe that you should have the freedom to get that experience on any hardware you choose. Everyone contributing to the project is also an end user, and this is a really powerful idea.There is no way for an isolated product planning team to come up with every off-the-wall idea unless they have unearthed it via extensive market research. The CM community is global and diverse. We can build the things we need, when we need them. Starting the company has allowed us to accelerate that process and bring more of our vision to reality.
A few milestones we’ve hit over the past six months:
- We launched CM Account, the gateway to our secure services platform and open sourced the application.
- Invested heavily in improving the infrastructure powering the CM community.
- Broke down barriers to entry by releasing our One Click Installer application.
- Released WhisperPush, an integrated open-source secure messaging platform, in collaboration with Open Whisper Systems.
- Created Privacy Guard, putting your data back under your control.
- Improved support for devices across the board.
- Brought the first native CM Experience device to market in partnership with Oppo.
- Helped sponsor community events such as the Big Android BBQ.
- Solidified policies in the community as well as our release procedure.
- Begun development of a new design language and flavor which we’ll be introducing soon.
- Created new applications such as Screen Mirror (in beta) and our upcoming Gallery beta.
We’ve hit our share of challenges too. First and foremost was the general perception of our community and contributors. We always knew that the announcement of a company would be met with trepidation. We are proud to say that the community and company have continued our collaboration to push the platform forward, including new features and support for additional devices.
Next, was realizing how immense a task we had taken on. Our current staff of 25 and our massive community is strong, but we have much more work to do. We quickly realized that our vast list of potential projects requires more great people to build them.
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. This new influx of capital will primarily be used to grow our engineering team as well as our UX, design, and product teams so that we can continue to build the next generation of mobile experience.
What does this mean for you as a CM user? Not much yet, except that you’ll see more new things from us more often. We will continue to invest in the community by way of increased resources, sponsoring more events, and of course staying open. You’ll see new apps and features from us, new services, and also more devices which run CM out of the box.
Do you love Android and open source? We are looking for great designers and software engineers to make it happen. Visit http://cyngn.com/careers if you want to be a part of of the new revolution in mobile!