Open source start-up Aiven raises $ 60 million in new funding

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Aiven Inc., a cloud-based open source software services company, raised $ 60 million in a second round of funding in less than a year, as investors bet on growing demand from directors of the information for easy access to shared computer code.

The new capital injection, which comes just seven months after a Series C round grossed $ 100 million, takes the Finnish startup’s valuation above $ 2 billion, the company said. Its last cycle was led by World Innovation Lab and IVP, both of which had participated in previous cycles.

Oskari Saarenmaa, co-founder and CEO of Aiven, said he plans to use the additional funds to expand the company’s global presence, which currently includes some 700 customers in 50 countries. An office in Singapore, which is slated to open this year, is part of a larger move to Asia-Pacific markets, he said.

Oskari Saarenmaa, co-founder and CEO of Aiven.


Photo:

Aiven Inc.

Mr. Saarenmaa and a small team of software engineers started the startup about five years ago in Helsinki. Today, it has more than 200 employees around the world.

Stemming from the collaborative spirit of software development in the early days of the web, open source developers make software available for free, allowing programmers to modify, share, or create new applications from the underlying source code without paying any fees. license fees.

Examples include the Android operating system, the Firefox browser, and the Python computer language.

By allowing companies to freely use the software of others, with certain restrictions, open source systems provide interoperability while fostering innovation. Suppliers like Aiven may charge for additional services or enterprise level features.

Aiven helps companies manage open source projects on a public cloud platform. This allows CIOs and other leaders in corporate information technology to access computer code, data, and other resources from anywhere, a key benefit during Covid-19 lockdowns and work. from a distance.

Mr. Saarenmaa said the open source community is in a period of transformation. Many IT vendors born as open source developers place restrictions on their own software licenses. According to him, decisions are short-sighted and driven by profit. “This has formed an industry-wide myth that open source business models are no longer sustainable,” he said.

David Mooter, senior analyst at IT research firm Forrester Research Inc.,

agreed that the business model is doing very well. “I haven’t seen open source decline,” he said. “If anything, its use is probably increasing. ”

In a historic legal battle, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that Alphabet Inc.

Google Did Not Violate Copyright Protections Using Oracle Bits Corp.

Java computer code to allow its Android mobile operating system to connect to other software. Sun Microsystems Inc., which created Java as free and open source software, was acquired by Oracle in 2010.

Some of the world’s largest tech companies have embraced open source software development in recent years. International Business Machines Corp.

in July 2019, purchased Red Hat Inc., one of the world’s largest open source developers. A year earlier, Microsoft Corp.

acquired the software code repository GitHub Inc.

“The current state of open source is still warm and we haven’t seen a slowdown in venture capital funding for open source companies,” said Kelley Mak, partner at venture capital firm Work-Bench technology-driven business. The firm is not an investor in Aiven. “Given the benefits that open source offers for building community and developing team spirit and goodwill in the era of developer adoption of software, I imagine only that open source is even more adopted, ”he said, citing VMware Inc.

and Microsoft as leading advocates.

Mr Saarenmaa of Aiven said the company’s $ 2 billion valuation was proof of that.

“When Aiven’s other co-founders and I decided to take on a challenge facing developers around the world, I knew this company had major growth potential,” he said. “It is always an exciting and humbling step.”

Write to Angus Loten at [email protected]

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