The team behind a rival operating system to Google's Android code has raised £4.3m to found a company to employ the coders.
The CyanogenMod (CM) lets users with Android installed swap it out for a modded version that gives them more control over their device.
The CM code has allegedly been downloaded on more than 7m Android devices despite being a hobby project, and the money has helped start a company to employ the coders, who had been working unpaid.
Cyanogen will be based in Seattle and will employ coder Steve Kondik as its technology chief.
Using the mod lets users clean out unwanted apps and programmes installed by the manufacturer and mobile operator, and gives users access to apps generated by Cyanogen.
The first task the company has set itself is to improve the mod's "gruesome" installation process.
Kondik said in a blog post on the company website: "We think that the time has come for your mobile device to truly be yours again, and we want to bring that idea to everybody.
"Installation needs to be easy and safe. This is a great deal of complexity to manage when you are talking about almost a hundred different devices, but we decided to tackle it. Our installer will be available on the Play Store in the coming weeks.
"What will change is our capabilities, our speed, and our size. I'm not one to let anything stagnate."
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