Monday, December 15, 2008

Fundraising and Open Source Resilience

This month marks an important milestone for Jaspersoft and the beginning of the next seminal period for open source software. Earlier this week, we announced the closing of a $12.5 million fundraising effort that provides Jaspersoft with its next round of operating capital. We are thrilled that we received new investments from private equity firm Adams Street Partners and the largest open source company and a critical partner that has helped to define the open source landscape, Red Hat. I’m equally thrilled that each of Jaspersoft’s current investors also increased their investment in the company. Our new lead investor and Board member, David Welsh from Adams Street Partners, said:

“Jaspersoft is a leader in the next generation of business intelligence software. We have great confidence in its product roadmap and management team,” said David Welsh, Adams Street Partners. “Our investment today signals our commitment to companies like Jaspersoft that understand the evolving needs of business managers that must use IT solutions to drive better decisions and increase ROI through improved operations.”

So, why is there so much investment interest in Jaspersoft and why am I calling this a “seminal period” for open source software? Short answer: because the intersection of business intelligence and open source software is a very important place to be right now. As the global economy struggles, so do the budgets and plans of every company and organization. Remember that organizations (private and public) are designed to grow and succeed; this is their calling. So, even in a terrible economy, organizational nature compels them forward. And, moving forward with assuredly better business insight (that comes from the explosion of data within and throughout the organization) is reason for business intelligence. As a relatively mature software sector, business intelligence is perfect for the open source development and distribution model, because we don’t have to spend a lot of time educating people on what BI is (they know what it is, they know they need it, and it is a matter of tearing down the barriers for them to find, try, and consume). Customers and community members download, then install, evaluate and begin getting value. And, hopefully, they (at some point) choose to have some sort of commercial relationship with us, as their organizational needs warrant.

Investors understand the friction-free effect of the broad, open source distribution model – and the ultimate commercial success (if properly implemented) that it can achieve. And, a much broader audience is now gaining this same understanding. Recently, Rachael King wrote about the resilience of open source software in a BusinessWeek article, entitled “Open Source: A Silver Lining in the Economic Slump”. She reported on a number of open source companies, especially Jaspersoft, that are finding even greater interest for their wares during these tough economic times. Hats off to BusinessWeek for recognizing that the open source story is really heating up – both as our economic environment undergoes a transformation and as the software matures to become more widely adopted inside small and large enterprises around the globe.

Brian Gentile
Chief Executive Officer

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