Twitter Ventures (TV), Twitter’s VC arm, has appeared on a list of investors in Cyanogen, a mobile operating system startup. The modestly-sized technology company, has thrown its hat into the venture capitalism ring alongside tech giants Google, Intel and Qualcomm. Next to these behemoths, Twitter appears miniscule. In 2014, the company had $3.6 billion in cash and securities compared with $64 billion for Google, $14 billion for Intel and $18 billion for Qualcomm. But SF-based tech company may feel more accessible to young startups who are more willing to align themselves with smaller, more “hip” companies.
After Twitter’s finance chief Mike Gupta moved over to the strategic investments team, the rumor mill churned with speculation that the company would enter the VC game. Cyanogen’s recent press release naming Twitter Ventures as one of its investors of $80 million finally stopped the conjecture.
Unlike Google, that has used investments for acquisition purposes (as in its acquisition of Nest), Twitter can get its hands on new tech without having to manage or acquire the startups. Twitter Ventures presents the opportunity for first looks into promising startups like Cyanogen – that anticipates competing head-to-head against Android and iOS.
Reasons for creating VC arms depend on the company — size doesn’t seem to be a factor as huge companies like Apple, Amazon and Facebook do not have venture funds. So it’s hard to say which investments Twitter Ventures has planned next. Considering they remained mum in regards to their venture capital arm, it’s expected they will do the same with their upcoming strategies.