Open source software developer Cyanogen Inc recently met with Android frontman Sundar Pichai, who expressed interest in acquiring the startup, only to be turned down, according to The Information. Based in Palo Alto and Seattle, the software maker is mostly known for its CyanogenMod platform that’s compatible with multiple Android-based devices. Recently, the company partnered with Chinese manufacturer OnePlus, providing the stock software for its first smartphone.
Cyanogen declined the offer, because its leadership felt that the young company is just getting started. The startup is reportedly in the process of discussing a Series C round of financing from a set of late-stage investors, along with interest from some unnamed tech firms. The company is said to be seeking a near $1 billion evaluation.
CyanogenMod is based on Android and padded with layers of original code from third-party developers. Although this is what makes the platform so appealing, the company may not want to move too far away from its Android roots, as it could run into issues. Currently the software is in compliance with Google’s compatibility requirements, which keeps third-party apps running across different Android devices.
If Cyanogen decided to move away from Google’s requirements, it would have to develop alternatives to some of the services that the search giant offers, along with an app store capable of replacing Google Play. While this might be doable for a well-established organization, a company that’s “barely generating any revenue” would be taking a huge risk.
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