Santander's fintech venture fund has joined an $80 million financing round for Android operating system outfit Cyanogen.
Palo-Alto-based Cyanogen has developed a popular open source Android-based mobile operating system called CyanogenMod, as well as a commercial version for handset manufacturers that offers users an alternative to Google's version of the OS.
Santander joins Twitter Ventures, Telefónica Ventures and Rupert Murdoch among investors in the series c funding round. The bank says that the deal gives it the chance to experiment with new distribution techniques, applications and services closely integrated with the operating system, which may increase security, enhance user interfaces and drive new revenue streams.
The plan is to work with Cyanogen to find ways to drive commercial adoption of terminals with Cyanogen OS in in Europe and Latin America.
Mariano Belinky, MD, Santander InnoVentures Fund, says: "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."
This is the second investment to be announced by the $100 million Santander Innoventures fund this week, coming on the heels of news of a $5 million deal with Israeli mobile money startup MyCheck.
Meanwhile, Santander's UK arm is showing some innovative thinking of its own, outlining plans for cycle-thru branches:
(What's today's date? Ed.)