Tidelift raises $25 million in Series B funding to help organizations engage with open source software creators and provide professional assurance
We live in a world dominated by open source software. Most organizations, small and big, run on open source software. It all started as an ideological and cultural movement to spur innovation, today almost every company that develops software relies on some open source components as part of their product. If you think about this for a minute, open source software opens us to a lot of opportunities. Gone are the days of depending solely on proprietary technologies from technology heavyweights like Microsoft or Oracle Corporation. However these opportunities come with some challenges. With more than 4,800 OSS vulnerabilities reported in 2017 alone and no single party on the hook to keep open source code secure, huge security breaches like the one that led to Equifax losing data for nearly 150 million people could continue to occur. Besides security challenges, there are software maintenance and support challenges. Tidelift is a new startup that’s on a mission to not only address open source challenges, but they also want to provide a new business model and incentives for open source creators to monetize their projects.
To meet that goal, Tidelift today announced it has raised $25 million in Series B funding to accelerate the adoption of its new business model for open source. The latest round was led by General Catalyst, Foundry Group, and former Red Hat Chairman with CEO Matthew Szulik co-leading the round. Founded in 217 by Donald Fischer, Havoc Pennington, Jeremy Katz, and Luis Villa, Tidelift provides organizations with professional assurance they need directly from the experts who know it best. Through its subscription, they professionalize open source software by giving software development teams a single source for purchasing and maintaining their software, with professional support and maintenance from the experts who know it best. Tidelift gives open source maintainers and project teams a platform and market for building highly profitable businesses around their projects. They also provide the tools and audience necessary for them to deliver a professional and financially viable software experience. Tidelift makes open source work better, for everyone.
“Tidelift has built the first marketplace that can help organizations productively engage with open source software creators at scale. Based on the clear market demand for the Tidelift Subscription, we’re thrilled to support its rapid growth and to create opportunities for more maintainers to join the movement,”Ryan McIntyre, co-founder and managing director at Foundry Group, said.
Tidelift gives organizations the security, licensing, and maintenance guarantees they need for the open source software components their applications depend on. The heart of the solution is the Tidelift Subscription—a single source for proactively maintained open source components, professional assurances around those components, and a software platform to track them.
The Tidelift Subscription is backed by the people who know these software projects the best—the open source developers who create and maintain them. Tidelift subscribers are assured that the thousands of critical open source packages their businesses depend on are maintained to a professional-grade standard, while participating open source creators are directly paid for making that possible.
“We’ve reached a crucial turning point for open source,” said Tidelift co-founder and CEO Donald Fischer. “Heartbleed, Equifax, and the recent spate of open source supply chain attacks are all symptoms of a systemic under-investment in maintenance of widely used open source packages. The stakes are now too high, and it is no longer an option to accept the status quo. Tidelift has built, and now we’re scaling, a model that pays open source maintainers to do their important work even better by connecting them to the many software development teams who rely on their contributions.”
“Discourse has become a Tidelift subscriber not only to benefit from professional-grade assurances around software that’s integral to our business, but to constructively partner with the individuals who create those packages,” said Erlend Sogge Heggen, VP of Community at Discourse. “Paying the maintainers is something we know is effective, and it’s also an urgent priority for our business, since it ensures the technology we rely on is maintained and dependable.”
Tidelift’s new funding will allow it to further deepen its already extensive coverage of open source projects, while expanding to include additional open source communities. “Tidelift is filling an unmet need by connecting organizations that rely on open source with the maintainers who create the components they use every day,” said Larry Bohn, managing director at General Catalyst. “The approach is working because it addresses acute pain points for both creators and users of open source and brings those groups together on a common business and technology platform.”