COSS Weekly, Issue #15: February 8th, 2021
Welcome to the fifteenth issue of the COSS Weekly, the global Commercial Open-Source ecosystem newsletter brought to you every Sunday by Joseph Jacks and team at COSS.Community, OSS Capital and the organizers of Open Core Summit.
Each week, we neatly summarize the latest happenings in COSS, often including objective commentary across primarily the following four areas: Funding, Content, Liquidity, Data.
💰 COSS Funding
Databricks, focused on machine learning, streaming data processing, data lake, and SQL analytics, closes $1B Series G funding round at $28B valuation led by Franklin Templeton. Link
Vendia, a serverless data-sharing platform, announces $15.5M Series A led by Canvas Ventures. Link
Rocket.Chat, an open-source communications platform, announces $19M Series A led by Valor Capital Group. Link
Kong, providing service connectivity for modern architectures, announces $100M Series D at $1.4B valuation led by Tiger Global. Link
📚 COSS Content
12 insights on COSS value capture from a conversation with Jonathan Roberts (PM at FlywayDB) and JJ. Link
Conversation with Adam DuVander and Ellen Chisa on Telling your Story through Developer-facing Content (via Ed Sim of Boldstart VC). Link
David Cramer (Founder/CTO of Sentry) shares SaaS ARR metrics since 2013 and observations on the journey. Link
GV's Dave Munichiello and GitLab's Sid Sijbrandij speak about GitLab's organizational playbook. Link
What's the right way to apply a license to your open-source project? What about copyright notices and warranty waivers? Link
"Open source is not threatened in any meaningful way by 'open core' licensing. We should be talking about addressing maintainer burnout, improving diversity, and using open source to solve humanitarian problems, not condemning startups for dual-licensing." - Hayden Barnes. (Discussion follows). Link
Marko Saric (co-founder of Plausible) transparently shares company's MRR numbers and discusses practices of transparency and ethical marketing. Link
News: Open Core Summit 2021 is happening fully online again this year, November 16th - 19th! Now with a CFP for talk submissions. Mark your calendars and submit! (Read about our mission as well). Link
Elastic introduces the Elastic License v2 (ELv2) - allowing the right to use, copy, distribute, and prepare derivative works of Elasticsearch and Kibana, with 3 limitations. Read more. Link
Google proposes that owners and maintainers of "critical" open-source software projects be identified, accountable, and authenticated, in addition to norms for maintaining critical projects, to protect against software supply chain attacks that could involve key open-source projects. Link
Peter Kim Frank announces Forem has signed Commsor's Community-led pledge. Link
PSA: The COSS ecosystem conference team is growing! Send a DM to JJ if you're interested in participating in the CFP review committee or helping with planning/theme design/promotion and more. Link
Mitchell Hashimoto (Founder of HashiCorp) shares story of being offered $50 million for HashiCorp in 2013, pre-Vault and pre-Terraform, and how the founders approached the decision. Link
JJ is re-launching the COSS Podcast! Stay tuned ... nearly a dozen episodes already recorded, with COSS builders, creators, consumers, enterprises, investors, and more. Link
Earthly announces switch to BSL license and explains decision. Link
Amanda Robson and Tim Chen sit down with Marco Palladino (Co-founder and CTO of Kong) and discuss how Kong went from open-source project to billions in value. Link
JJ: There's a fascinating public COSS company in $QTCOM.HE, the commercial "cute" Qt Project. Over the last 24 months, the stock has grown 750%+ with a current P/E ratio of 290x, while headcount (330) and revenue ($80M) have grown only 30%. Link
Open Source Industrialization podcast with Kevin Xu. Link
What will open source look like in the next 5 years? What categories will emerge to create the next great OSS company? Join the Index Open Source Summit to hear MongoDB's Dev Ittycheria and Mike Volpi discuss with Starburst Data's Jess Iandiorio. Link
Observations from Nnamdi Iregbulem (Partner at Lightspeed VP) on the SaaS magic number. Link
COSS Builders Weekly #2 happening tonight (Monday, Feb 8 at 5PM PST) on Clubhouse! Link
Gaurav Gupta (Lightspeed VP) and Raj Dutt (Grafana) explain how they came together for Grafana's Series A ... and eventually, Series B. Link
Conversation with Sid Sijbrandij (GitLab) and Hassan Hosseini (Infracost.io) about when to monetize open-source projects and how, as well as licenses, CLAs, per-seat pricing, and usage pricing! Link
The After Open Source Era Has Started by Bilgin Ibryam. Link
Doug Cutting (Founder of Lucene, Nutch, Hadoop, and Avro): The threat of Cloud vendors profiting from OSS in 2021 is not fundamentally different from IBM and Oracle profiting from it in 2001. Yet developers back then still used liberal licenses, fully aware that BigCos might benefit from their work. (Discussion continues). Link
JJ: Open source is people. Link
💸 COSS Liquidity
Rapid7 acquires leading Kubernetes security provider, Alcide, for $50M. Link
📈 COSS Data
- 🌐 YC COSS: For the first time ever in 2020, 15~ COSS startups have gone through YC in a single year representing 30%+ of the total (50~ since 2006). Our YC COSS dataset tracks and provides granular data on the growing but still small COSS YC alumni.
- 🏦 COSS PE Funding: This dataset tracks the latest funding events for all stages of COSS companies, mostly in private markets, for 2020-2021+.
- 📊 COSS Index: The well-known COSSI sheet for the exclusive $100M+ revenue club of COSS companies. New data points and growth happening weekly.
- 🌩️ AWS COSS: List of COSS services on AWS. Continuously evolving. We plan to offer similar datasets for Azure, GCP, and other major clouds.
- 🤑 COSS VC: Eary-Stage VCs with > 5 COSS investements as a filter to identify and highlight the "most experienced" COSS investors. Fast growing list.
- 📈 COSS IPO: Analysis of every COSS IPO since 1999.