Open Source Startup Tidelift Raises $25 million in Series B Funding

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The company plans to use the new funding to further expand its coverage of popular open source packages and include more open source creators.

 Tidelift, a startup founded by a group of former Red Hat employees, has announced that it has raised $25 million in new funding to accelerate the adoption of its new business model for open source.

Its new business model for open source pays creators to maintain and secure thousands of projects vital to professional software development teams.

General Catalyst, Foundry Group, and former Red Hat Chairman and CEO Matthew Szulik co-led the Series B funding round. Last year, the company had raised $15 million in Series A round.

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The company plans to use the new funding to further expand its coverage of popular open source packages and include more open source creators.

Making open source work better—for everyone

Tidelift subscription gives organizations the security, licensing, and maintenance guarantees they need for the open source software components their applications depend on. Through this Subscription, open source maintainers also get financial support to continue their projects.

“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,” the company said.

According to Tidelift co-founder and CEO Donald Fischer, open source has reached a crucial turning point, due to under-investment in maintenance of open source projects.

“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.”

New business model for open source

Tidelift announced last September that it had over $1 million committed to pay maintainers for providing a standard set of security, maintenance, and licensing assurances around their packages. Since then, hundreds of packages have been added to the Tidelift Subscription, across the JavaScript, Java, Python, PHP, .NET, and Ruby language ecosystems. It is estimated that 35 million of the most commonly used open source repositories are now dependent on packages that are included in the Tidelift Subscription.

Among the well-known open-source projects covered under the Tidelift Subscription today are Apache Struts, Vue.js, Gulp, Carbon, Jekyll, Beautiful Soup, and Mongoose.

Investors laud Tidelift’s business model 

Larry Bohn, managing director at General Catalyst, said, “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.”

He added, “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.”

Ryan McIntyre, co-founder and managing director at Foundry Group, commented: “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.”

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