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Twitter uses venture capital to compete with Google's Android
Twitter is now involved in venture capital, but there is no word quite what it is trying to accomplish. - photo by Matthew Jelalian
Twitter is expanding beyond its 140 character tweets and is making a move into venture capital, investing in a company that wants to compete with Google's Android mobile operating system.

Twitter's venture capital arm is led by Mike Gupta, the company's ex-finance chief turned head of strategic investments, reported Benzinga. Gupta's new title was communicated to the investment community and signaled it would make its own bets on startups, but the company has remained quiet on its activities.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Twitter isnt talking about what its goals are for the venture capital team.

Twitter continues to remain mum on the group, so its not clear how much capital the company is committing to invest, who else is on the team, or what types of companies it will invest in, the Journal reported. A Twitter spokesman declined to comment.

The first company Twitter has invested in is Cyanogen, which is developing an operating system for mobile devices.

According to Vivian Lee, VP of marketing and communications for Cyanogen, the reason why Twitter choose Cyanogen as the first company to invest in is similarity in goals, mutual contacts in the investor community, and the fact that two businesses are headquartered nearby, reported ValueWalk.

Cyanogen cofounders Kirt McMaster and Steve Kondik wrote an open letter explaining their company's plans.

Today CyanogenMod, the open-source OS we back, has over 50 million users in over 190 countries, said the letter. We've made inroads in our commercial distribution, so people can get Cyanogen OS on their smartphones, right out of the box. Starting this year, we expect to see accelerated adoption of our commercial operating system with Cyanogen OS preloaded on smartphones from hardware makers in different parts of the world. We want our OS to be as accessible as possible, so that many millions of people can have a better, more powerful mobile computing experience and choose what default apps and services they want. Real choice. Real freedom.

According to Forbes, McMaster and Kondick wish to make a rival operating system to Googles Android phones. This could translate into better mobile device options for consumers.

Cyanogen has a chance to snag as many as 1 billion handsets, more than the total number of iPhones sold to date, according to some analysts, Forbes reported. Most went through the hours-long process of erasing an Android phone and rebooting it with Cyanogen. McMaster is now persuading a growing list of phone manufacturers to make devices with Cyanogen built in, rather than Googles Android. Their phones are selling out in record time. Analysts say each phone could bring Cyanogen a minimum of $10 in revenue and perhaps much more.
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