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April 2, 2015

Santander joins $80m funding of Cyanogen

Backing of mobile OS follows support for mobile payments firm.

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Santander has backed an open source alternative to Android in an $80m (£54m) funding round, joining the likes of Twitter, Telefonica and Rupert Murdoch.

Cyanogen, based in Palo Alto, California, is hoping to usurp Android with its highly extensible mobile operating system, which it is currently offering in free and commercial editions.

Mariano Belinky, MD at Santander InnoVentures Fund, said: "The investment in Cyanogen 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."

Established in 2008 by the software developer Steve Kondik, Cyanogen became a fully fledged company in 2013 with the intention of commercialising the software.

Since then it has gone on to raise millions as it prepares to take on Android and iOS, with the latest and third round of funding bringing the total to $110m (£74m).

Speaking about the third investment round, Sandesh Patnam, technology sector lead of Premji Invest, said: "Cyanogen is well positioned to become the third leading mobile OS, and we’re excited to back them in growing their business on a global scale."

Earlier this week Santander also announced it would back the mobile payments firm MyCheck, also agreeing to provide the technology to its retail and commercial customers.

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