Twitter Inc (TWTR): Cyanogen Funding Round Is Twitter Ventures’ ‘Maiden Investment’

Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) is launching its very own venture capital arm called Twitter Ventures and a report says that its “maiden investment” was the $80 million funding round announced by Cyanogen yesterday.

That tidbit was revealed by The Wall Street Journal’s Digits blog which also listed the new investors in Cyanogen.

“The maiden investment comes nine months after Mike Gupta traded in his role as Twitter’s finance chief to lead Twitter’s strategic investments team,” the publication reports.

Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR)’s Twitter Ventures – along with chip giant QUALCOMM, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM), Indian investment firm PremjiInvest and Rupert Murdoch – are named as the investors in the $80 million funding round for custom Android fork development firm Cyanogen.

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Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) was initially reported to be joining its fellow tech veterans in funding Cyanogen to help combat Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s control over the dominating mobile operating system but the company appears to have decided otherwise.

Cyanogen makes customized versions of the Android operating system with the aim of making the user experience better. Apart from that, these versions of Android usually does away from defaulting to Google applications and services, such as Google Search, which Android versions used typically by equipment manufacturers do. Google is said to be strong-handed in getting manufacturers to default to Google applications and services when using Android.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) had $1.5 billion in cash and cash equivalents, and $2.1 in short-term investments, by the end of 2014.

While Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR)’s Twitter Ventures is new – evident in its site still being blank at the moment – tech giants having venture capital divisions is not. Google has Google Ventures, Qualcomm has Qualcomm Ventures and Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) has Intel Capital.

Bain Capital’s Brookside Capital ended the last quarter of 2014 with about 1.92 million Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) shares, down a noteworthy 19% quarter over quarter.

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