Santander InnoVentures invests in Cyanogen

Santander InnoVentures has become a strategic investor in Cyanogen’s series C fund raising round.

Cyanogen Inc., headquartered in Palo Alto, California, is the company that develops the commercial mobile operating system, Cyanogen OS, and backs the largest open-source Android community distribution, CyanogenMod. The company is focused on building an open OS platform that enables a more open, level playing field for the mobile developer ecosystem around core services most frequently used by consumers. Through this approach, Cyanogen expects to spur innovation, improve ecosystem revenue generation, and empower mobile consumers to choose their default apps and services.

Cyanogen has raised $80M series C through a range of investors including Twitter Ventures, Qualcomm Incorporated, Telefónica Ventures, Smartfren Telecom, Index Ventures, Access Industries, Rupert Murdoch and Vivi Nevo. Existing investors Benchmark, Andressen Horowitz, Redpoint Ventures, and China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd have also participated.

Mariano Belinky, Managing Director, Santander InnoVentures, said: “This Investment presents us with some exciting opportunities to learn and closely monitor how the operating system market develops, and to be able to react quickly to key changes in the competitive landscape.

“It allows us to experiment with new distribution techniques, applications and services closely integrated with the Cyanogen Operating System, which may increase security, enhance user interfaces and drive new revenue streams.

“It will also provide Santander customers greater data security and defend their privacy within a Santander-friendly ecosystem, as well as give us the option to develop new distribution strategies and capture the value from new potential revenue streams that require deep integration with the Cyanogen Operating System.”

Santander intends to work with Cyanogen to find ways to drive commercial adoption of terminals with Cyanogen OS in its core markets in Europe and Latin America. Cyanogen’s implementation already allows its partners to distribute smartphones with Cyanogen OS tuned and optimised for each device.

Cyanogen is well positioned to become the third leading mobile OS with the rapid adoption of its commercial operating system and continued growth of its open-source distribution. There are over 50 Million users of CyanogenMod, and Cyanogen OS is expected to ship on mobile devices in major markets around the world.

The deal follows Santander Innoventure’s investment in Mycheck, where it has provided a $5m investment in the mobile payment and loyalty provider. It will allow Santander’s retail and commercial customers around the world to benefit from MyCheck’s innovative technology that allows users to check into venues, pay securely, and receive relevant offers and information from their smart device. MyCheck, founded in Israel in 2011, is reinventing the payment experience in hospitality by focusing on Point-of-Sale integration and user experience to increase customer engagement and consumer satisfaction.