Cyanogen refuses Google's money in an effort to keep Android 'open'

For a lot of start ups, winning Google's interest is the goal. Not Cyanogen. According to The Information, the Cyanogen CEO Kirt McMaster told shareholders that it recently shrugged off Google SVP of Android Sundar Pichai's interest in purchasing the company -- choosing instead to focus on obtaining a $1 billion valuation to aid in its third round of funding. The company's grounds for that number, and perhaps Google's interest for the company, lie with its long-term goal: to become the third most popular mobile ecosystem. Considering the fact that Cyanogen's third-tier mobile OS is essentially a more "open" version of Android, it's no surprise the company has Mountain View's attention.

Even so, dismissing Google's interest is a pretty bold move -- especially considering that the company is now looking for more funding on top of the $30 million it collected last year. There's confidence there, however: Cyanogen investors are being told that the company has struck a deal with Micromax to build Cyanogen-based phones, echoing its partnership with OnePlus to bake its flavor of Android into the One. It's still too early to say if Cyanogen's efforts will pay off in the long term, but the company is definitely on Google's radar, and that's something.