CyanogenMod Inc is expanding. Earlier this year the team of independent developers behind the popular replacement firmware for Android phones banded together, raised $7 million in funding, and started a company. Now the team has announced it has raised $22 million more.
So what does CyanogenMod plan to do with the money? Hire more staff, develop more software, and partner with more companies to launch new devices.
Details are a bit scarce at this point, but CyanogenMod currently has about 25 staffers and plans to hire up to 50 more.
The team has already partnered with Chinese device maker Oppo to release the first phone that comes with CyanogenMod preloaded (or at least CyanogenMoas an option). But it’s likely that more devices are in the works and, according to GigaOm, the group plans launch a “consumer brand and service” by early 2015 to appeal to folks who may not already be aware of CyanogenMod.
CyanogenMod has long been one of the most popular custom ROMs for Android phone and tablet users. But since starting a company, the team has kicked development of new features into high gear, and started hosting its own services. Over the past few months we’ve seen the launch of CM Accounts for secure location mapping and remote wipe services, a secure messaging service called WhisperPush, and Privacy Guard, a feature that gives users more control over the permissions used by Android apps.
Upcoming features include a new image gallery, a Screen Mirror app that lets you mirror your phone’s display on a TV, and a new “design language” and theme engine which will give users the option of changing the look and feel of their devices.
The company also plans to improve the CyanogenMod Installer app which is designed to simplify the process or installing the software on supported phones and tablets. One improvement could be the inclusion of a backup option, which makes it easier for users to return their devices to the condition they were in before installing CyanogenMod. That update, along with better documentation, might be part of what it takes for Google to allow the CM Installer to return to the Google Play Store. The company asked CyanogenMod to remove the installer in November.